Remember the Titans

2000 sports movie

Rating: 14/20

Plot: An newly-integrated school's new football coach has to first get his players to play together and then try to win some football games.

Can you fault a movie or its star for being too likable? This Disney flick is 100% Disney--completely safe, vanilla, predictable, melodramatic. That's going to annoy a lot of people, but the story is touching and definitely worth telling. Denzel Washington plays the character you know he's going to play when you see his giant face on the poster. He exudes this strength and confidence that carries the film, but although the screenplay does try to illuminate a flaw or two with the character, he still seems just a little too perfect to be true. He's definitely likable, and the best lines his character's given come out so naturally.

There are a few moments in the narrative that will have a lot of viewers rolling their eyes, but there are also some nice subtle moments that kind of hit you in the heart. The narrative's biggest flaw might be that it tries to tackle--no pun intended--far too many subplots. A lot of the auxiliary characters--a girlfriend, a mother, annoying little girls--needed to be left on the sidelines--pun intended--although I'm aware that picking only female characters probably makes me a male chauvinist. Sure, it looks like a football movie and has a lot of football in it, but it's really a movie about race relations, something that does affect both males and females.

Anyway, this is a fine movie with a relevant message.

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