I don’t watch a lot of sports movies. In fact, the more the movie is about a particular sport or particular game, as opposed to being about the people who participate (as with the Rocky films), the less likely I am to be interested. We all know the ragtag bunch of misfit kids is going to suddenly form into a master hockey team at the end of the movie and win despite apparent overwhelming odds against them, because it’s their movie. Granted, the protagonists can be expected to win most of the time in any genre, but all too often sports movies make the big game the sole reason for the film, and when it’s a foregone conclusion that doesn’t leave much to watch for.
But when I saw that The Best of Times, a 1986 film directed by Roger Spottiswoode, starred Kurt Russell and Robin Williams, I thought I would give it a shot. It was billed as a comedy more than a sports film, and with those two actors it seemed likely to be more about the people rather than the game. And on that score, it delivers; the big game is the impetus for the action and character growth of the movie, but the character growth is the point. Continue reading