The Mighty Macs (2009)

Friday, April 13, 2012

It is a tricky business adapting true stories. Or that has been my humble conclusion. Anything that is “tagged” as any part of true stories means filmmakers are taking a person either living or who has lived and are attempting to not just tell their story but mimic their life. I have seen some that have been near perfection, and others that have failed miserably, unable to strike a balance between docu-drama and an entertaining film that keeps its viewer interested. This seventies-era flick may not be known among the ranks of popular real-life dramas, but it is memorable – even if only for one’s night’s worth of entertainment.

Being a home-maker is not all that Cathy Rush (Carla Gugino) wants from life. Although she is a newlywed whose well-known NBA referee husband (David Boreanaz) thought she wanted to be home and, eventually raise the kids they both want, Cathy is a woman ahead of her time. Her desire to be different without conforming leads her to apply for coaching jobs at a select few colleges. With no experience, she is socked that she is actually called in for an interview to Immaculata College. An all-girls Catholic college, Cathy is given the job without many questions by the stern Mother St. John (Ellen Burnstyn) but is not given a gym in which to teach her too few players. Before even beginning, it would seem the determined new coach is beaten.

In charge of admissions, Sister Sunday (Marley Shelton) is having doubts about her faith, her life – her purpose. She asks God to show her again if her decisions are the right ones before all is lost… and then she is asked to help coach the basketball team by Cathy. Not something she was expecting, Sister Sunday feels a tug towards this new endeavor as the memories of her former life begin to creep in, and she becomes as passionate about the team as Cathy. Leading the once losing team to any wins seems impossible but with her dream intact, Cathy plans on going places with her determined group of players.

It didn’t take much to make me see this little-known title as one of the more endearing films I’ve watched recently. The production starts off right with Cathy’s voiceover telling us what led her to apply for a job. The filming is snazzy and the acting is decent along with three fresh-faced actresses’ who portray the three players that the script singles out. There are the few scenes that were not well-acted or seemed too silly for their own good but most the time we are swept up in these lives because of empathetic portrayals. Based on the real events surrounding the 1971 girls’ basketball team, this is a movie that will resonate with old and young alike. Anyone who has played this sport (or any, really) will probably have some comedic flashbacks to the work it takes or countless drills your coach may have set you on, and adults will appreciate the depth of a true story and the twists life sometimes throws our way.

Written and directed by a virtual unknown film-maker, Tim Chambers, the script and direction of the movie – which is instrumental to a “good” story, were impressive. In particular, the script is both entertaining and heartfelt. Viewers will get a chuckle out of the girl’s reaction to their uniforms and be touched by the simple, accepting way the girls make one of their team-mates feel loved. Despite not being a lover of “all things 70’s” (sorry to those who like the styles: Despite my aunt’s best efforts to try convincing my “sis” and me that we could recycle some of her old things, we are just not into them), I loved most of Cathy’s wardrobe. Something about it was just… cool. The scarves, classic lines and colors were perfect for screen, and suited the actress well.

Some true stories can be tedious, or overlong – at best, this one doesn’t seem to fall into those traps. Despite its G-rating, it isn’t something young kids would find amusing but there is enough drama to hold our interest, and yet, its greatest component is its ability to connect with the viewer in an inspiring, sweet way. It’s one that teaches to never give up on dreams, and the reward that can – sometimes ­– follow such a determined will.

(Parental review; One scene shows two women having a beer – one of which is a nun. There are some mild tricks and/or fibs; a girl is devastated by her boyfriend ending their relationship. Cathy inviting a group of boys to play against the girls in practice is considered “scandalous.” There may be some minor flirting.) 


  1. This looks really good! And funny. Definitely can't wait to see it.


  2. This one is super cute, Jess but yet, also has "heart." Enjoy! =)

  3. I've heard of this movie when it came out and have wanted to see it ever since was fun to read your review/thoughts on it! :)

  4. I've seen this in the CBD catalog.
    It looks good.

  5. I saw a trailer for this a while back and even that had me laughing :) I'm definitely going to see if I can watch it soon!
    Oh, and I really like your new header as well as your profile pic! :) {for some reason, I just really like looking at your profile pic every time you get a new always choose such interesting/lovely ones!}

  6. Rachel - thanks! I hope you enjoy it; for once, this is a movie that is actually... "clean." =)

    Ella - it is! =)

    Trinka - have I mentioned how glad I am that you are baaaack!? LOL! =)

    There is an element of comedic amusement (the comedy is admittedly great) in this film but above all, it recounts a story of overcoming "adversity" when your dreams are threatened. Enjoy!

    Thanks! I had a lot of fun putting this header together but was also a bit challenged to find three pics. that "matched." I like my pictures to go together and not be a mish-mash of just anything... still, that is half the fun (tracking them down). Isn't it fun picking a new profile pic.? That is why I change it so often. ;D I had a similar but different one earlier in the week before switching to this one and editing it with the rounded corners. (Yours are always lovely!) The design aspect is such fun on Blogger!!

  7. This looks like a cute movie! :-)

    Thanks for (all) your awesome comments on my blog! They make my day. :) I can switch out headers pretty easily, but I have trouble with even changing font colors. LOL. I'm pretty dumb when it comes to reformatting my blog, so I try not to do it too often. :D

  8. I saw the trailer to this film not too long ago. Actually, I do believe I saw it from Courageous's DVD. It looks like a great film--the kind that has both comedy and a great message.

  9. We rented that from Redbox. Wasn't my favorite but it was clean, so that's good.

    Thanks for your comment on my bowtie post, Rissi! It's true that all good things must come to an end but I'm excited about what the future using my leader training holds :)
    Have a great weekend!


  10. Rachel - it really is! =)

    I love comments; it makes the blogger experience more worth it. That seems to be "everyone's" fave part about blogging, so it is fun to leave comments on my favorite blogs. =)

    You are not dumb about re-formatting, girl! Changing the colors is easily found under "layout" then "template designer" under "advanced." Perhaps Blogger likes to give you trouble about that - I know girls who really detest Google / Blogger but so far (*fingers crossed*), I have no complaints. ;D

    Jemimah - I believe it does air prior to Courageous. This one is more "professional" than that one but it doesn't have as much of a Christian message. Still... it was good. =)

    Memorey - being "clean" in today's film industry is something - so if we can at least get that out of a movie... well, that is good. =)

    Best of luck - and same to you. =)

    Thanks for the comments, girls - all are greatly appreciated!! As always, I am happy you stopped in.

  11. I want to see this one too. Looks good.

  12. It is really cute, Jen! I hope you enjoy it if/when you see it.

  13. I wondered if this was going to turn out all and for me. I still don't know if it would be exciting enough to grab and hold, but it seemed like it would, after your review :) And I agree with Trinka, loving the header :) Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Because You Are!)
    Philippians 4:8

  14. P.S. I hear you about those clothes :P Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Because You Are!)
    Philippians 4:8

  15. This movie never was "dull" for me, but I realize that some viewers may find it to be dull. It is worth a look IMO - but that is just me. =D

    Aw! Thanks! I still loved my other header (it is saved in case I want to "recycle") but it is such fun for me to create things that I find I love switching things up even if it isn't a "drastic" layout change. I just had the thought that perhaps this header is a bit... depressing / dark but, I guess not. I like it, so it'll stick around for a while. After all: April showers bring May flowers. =)

    Costumes in movies are HUGE for me - I either love 'em or don't... most the time. ;D

    Loving all YOUR sweet comments today, Sierra! Thanks.


Have a thought? Don't be shy, go ahead and leave one... or two... or three! I reply to every comment. If you're new to the blog, please don't hesitate to introduce yourself and your blog - we love chatting around here!

Feedback and every comment is appreciated and read - I always leave a response; your opinions are respected and I ask that you show mine the same courtesy.

(If you post under “anonymous,” please leave a name. If you don't have a Google account, you can type your name into the Name/URL and if you have no site, just leave "URL" blank.)

If you are still reading my ramblings, thank you for following this little blog and for being one of its supporters. I’ve enjoyed getting to know each of you, friends!

Latest Instagrams

© Finding Wonderland. Design by FCD.