Last night, I was invited to go see a prescreening of a movie. I’ve never been to a prescreening, so I said, “Yeah, sounds like fun.” I didn’t expect to like anything about the movie–after all, if the movie needed prescreening, it obviously wasn’t going to be something big and impressive.
God save me from shoving my foot in my mouth like that again.
The movie is based on the true story of Cathy Rush (played by Carla Gugino), a wife in the early 1970’s with a degree in Physical Education but no experience coaching. She gets a job at an all girls’ Catholic school–Immaculata College–as the basketball coach. The tiny school is struggling (they only have one basketball and the only practice space the team has is a tiny Activity Room), and Mother Superior keeps an eagle eye on the new coach while she tries to convince the men on the Board of Trustees to give the school another year to pull out of their debt.
Coach Rush has problems of her own: the girls on her team waver between wanting to play and following the path set out for them (marriage, finding a job to help support family). She loses a lot of her players, and for a moment, it becomes unclear if Coach Rush is pushing the girls to become better or if she’s pushing them because she’s frustrated with them.
Couple that with troubles at home. Her husband, NBA Referee Ed Rush (played by David Boreanaz), struggles with his wife being away from home and not fulfilling her wifely obligations (cooking, cleaning, having dinner with him). And when he’s away for games, she misses him. It takes a young nun and a couple of beers for Cathy and Ed to get themselves on track (and it’s not Cathy and Ed who drink the brew).
Along the journey, you meet some people who will take your breath away with their generosity, others who will make you laugh, and some that you wish would shed their old-fashioned thinking and see the possibilities in front of them. Coach Rush, in her unobtrusive but steadfast way, slowly changes the community around Immaculata. She makes believers and hopefuls out of cynics. Put all this together, and it was definitely something big and impressive.
The ending of the story will have you holding your breath and wishing there were more films like this. The film is rated G and is coming out October 21. Shameless plug? Yeah. But trust me. Go see it. Take your kids (if they’re old enough to understand an inspirational movie). Take your teen group. Make it a date night.
“She dared to dream. They dared to believe.”