Meet Gracie Bowen, she's your average, ordinary 15-year-old girl, except for one thing: she's determined to play varsity soccer... on the boys' team! But when her school forbids her to play and even her family questions he... more »r ability, Gracie sets out on extraordinary quest to prove them all wrong. Fighting to change the school's policy and facing off against some of the toughest competitors on the soccer field, Gracie must summon all of her strength and courage, to finally show the world that a girl with a dream can do absolutely anything!DVD Features:
Dawn M. from LEESVILLE, LA Reviewed on 1/1/2010...
This movie will make you think carefully about how girls are taught not to aspire to play sports in our society. To play sports is to overcome many odds: injury to the body, name calling, shunning by friends who don't understand the willingness to play, boys who will bully and belittle, parents who want them to just conform to the "normal role for girls", and the ever present belief that girls are not as tough as boys. Do we let our girls drift into taking drugs or having unprotected sex to fit in or do we start changing the minds of those around us? A very thought provoking and well acted movie. If you have doubts about girls playing sports, check this movie out!
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Solid plotting in a genuine story of reality and triumph
MollyRK | Chicago | 07/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The fact that this quiet yet beautiful gem of a film was released on the same weekend as the summer blockbuster "Knocked Up" may give some indication as to why it came and went relatively quickly in the theaters. Still, if you saw the previews for this and/or went to see it when it came out, chances are you agree that it was an impressively well-told story of courage, redemption, and the realization that life simply is never perfect, regardless of how much effort is put forth.
Contemporary sport films have become a distinctive genre that is all their own, and simply seeing the poster for this film may instantly suggest something about defying the odds, standing up against adversity, and meeting with huge successes that are the result of hard work. Isn't that, after all, the general formula of many of the inspirational sports movies that are out there?
However, while "Gracie" emphasizes all those things and efficiently plays out those typical messages, there is something much stronger that makes this film worth your time. It is loosely based on true-life events of actress Elisabeth Shue, who made a name for herself with the 1980's hit "Misadventures in Babysitting." Beyond her acting career, though, there is a story of her childhood that is carried through the character of Gracie Bowens, a teenager who is growing up with a slew of soccer-playing brothers. You can sense immediately that she is struggling with feelings of inadequacy as she fights to be part of the family athleticism, but when a jarring tragedy strikes with her oldest brother, so begins her journey toward making a difference and taking his spot on the varsity soccer team. Gracie knows she cannot take this on without her father's consent in training her--a tall order that creates several barriers against her, even with her own parents. If there's anything that this movie strives for most, it's the sobering honesty of the families, schools, and communities that are not always supportive of what certain people deem as valuable.
Perhaps the single factor that drew me in the most about this film was the execution of Gracie's rebellion early in the plot. In an attempt to curb the pain of her family's loss and cope with Dad's rejection, the young girl compensates with alcohol, skimpy outfits, and flings with guys that go well beyond first base. The scenes were so thoughtfully done, and there was a certain authenticity with how a 15-year-old girl in that situation would be feeling and reacting. Though it's clear that her father's attentiveness would be the one thing to pull her away from his danger, the entire issue is proof of the theory that involvement in sports affords young people the discipline to stay out of trouble.
Beyond this, the theme of "Gracie" basically focuses on the price we pay for pursuing a far-fetched dream (and let's face it, it's not usually a cheap deal). Our heroine is a girl who obviously has the passion and grit to do well, but it is hardly a smooth road, and much of the film focuses less on the glory and more on how much this young lady must do every single day to have a shot at what she is doing. Even when she manages to earn the opportunity to try out for the guys' team, the male world of soccer is not exactly kind to the likes of a girl trying to ease her way in. Viewers will find themselves searching hard for a moment during which they can share in celebrating Gracie's success, but the truth is, the film's plot makes it as tough for us as they do for the main character. The ending is enough to generate a smile without feeling that the story went too far with the saccharine and unrealistic, and to me, that is the mark of a unique, credible movie.
If you did not get to catch this film when it was originally released in theaters, I hope you will get your family together to watch it when it arrives on DVD in September. Aside from a solid script that has something important to say for anyone who watches, it is filled with strong, hard-fought performances from the entire cast. Carly Schroeder has the ideal "athletic beauty" combination that film critics have been talking about regarding her performance, and though she is a relative newcomer (she had a recurring role in Hilary Duff's "Lizzie McGuire" TV series and theatrical film of the same name, but this is her first major role), she lends all the right elements to the character and indicates a promising future career in the Hollywood business. As Gracie, she is a bag of bolts, a fighting spirit, and while she thrives under her father's careful guidance, the real test comes when it is time to get out there and show everyone if she can do it. The way Schroeder executes it is brilliant, and there's no doubt that the casting crew got it just right when they chose her. Dermot Mulroney is terrific as always, delivering big as a grieving and conflicted father. His love for his little girl--his only daughter--is never questioned, but his hesitation in helping her realize her biggest goal involves far more intense factors, especially in a society where female prejudice is still a major issue. Elisabeth Shue--who is, again, the inspiration for the title character--steps in as Gracie's patient mother. Always hopeful, yet never afraid to come forward with the truth, it is an all-around enjoyable film that seeks to inspire in its own way."
Superior sports drama. Today's youth have a lot to learn fro
JOHN P. HANSSEN | ventura, CA USA | 08/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know what you are probably thinking. You're thinking something like, "Oh, Great! Just what we don't need. Another underdog sports movie!" Well, before dismissing this film as such, you might want to watch it really carefully and take some time out to think about a few things. The heart that Gracie displays in this film is something that every youth needs to see, and exhibit, today, especially in light of how "lazy" today's youth seem to be. Especially with how they seem to expect to have everything handed to them on a silver platter. Well, I'm sorry to report on the reality, but victory does not come this way. It only comes with determination and perseverence, which Gracie demonstrated to the maximum degree. This film also made me realize that both women and minorities have absolutely NOTHING to complain about in today's world. What Gracie faced in 1978 was REAL sexism and descrimination. Hey, I'm a guy and I thought it completely unfair the way she was treated and I was rooting for her all the way!
This film also reminded me of "Invincible", about the true story of Vince Papale who, although being up in years, got a chance to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. After viewing both "Gracie" and "Invincible", I'm left to thinking that there is not a coach or recruiter alive today that would not give their arm and leg for players like Gracie Bowen and Vince Papale--players who have HEART and really LOVE the game they play, and are not just a couple of posers who are just in it for the money and fame.
Bottom line is, I highly recommend this film. The acting is convincing and the story is very inspiring. Well worth at least one viewing"
"I AM TOUGH ENOUGH!"
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 09/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Synopsis: After the tragic death of her older brother fifteen-year old Gracie (Carly Schroeder) decides she wants to make the boys high school soccer team as he had. With the town, the team and even her own family against the idea of a girl playing on a boys team she finally convinces them all of her passion and fire to compete and gets her chance to show everyone what she's capable of.
Critique: The '07 release 'Gracie' is one of those feel good sports movies about an underdog triumphing over seemingly insurmountable odds to win the day on and off the field of play. Reminiscent of a Disney or Hallmark production the film follows a tried and proven formula that we've all seen many times. However it's quite well done, Carly Schroeder delivers an engaging performance and the contemporary soundtrack is infectious. All and all 'Gracie' is a film that will provide positive and enjoyable family entertainment for one and all.
My Rating: -4 Stars-."
Pleasant Underdog Sports Story, but Lackluster and Contrived
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 09/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Gracie" is a young woman who battles social conventions to achieve her dream of playing varsity soccer. Actress Elizabeth Shue and her brother Andrew were inspired by their own competitive, soccer-obsessed family to co-write and produce the film. Elizabeth Shue's husband Davis Guggenheim directs. Many details of family life were taken from or inspired by the Shue family. They put a lot of themselves into this film, which is dedicated to their brother Will Shue. But the storyline itself is fictitious and, I suppose, meant to comment on the personal power of sports and the foolishness of letting others define your limitations.
It's 1978 in South Orange, New Jersey, and the Bowen family is preoccupied with soccer, as always. Bryan Bowen (Dermot Mulroney) was a star player in his youth and has infected his entire family with enthusiasm for the sport. After a family tragedy, teenaged daughter Gracie (Carly Schroeder) pours her grief into training and is determined to play on her high school's varsity soccer team next year, which is a men's team. Discouraged by her father's indifference and the ridicule of other players, Gracie finds more rebellious outlets for her feelings. -Until her parents encourage her to petition the school board for the opportunity to try out for the team.
"Gracie" is pleasant enough, even though I've seen this story countless times before. But the father-daughter relationship and Gracie's arc feel contrived. The coach's actions and the macho father's casual presumption that his wife will support the family are just not credible. Gracie's dialogue is smarter than she actually seems to be and therefore unnatural. I like "Gracie" more as a 1970s nostalgia film than as a sports movie or a feminist film. The material from the Shues' life is authentic and interesting enough, but this script is lousy. "Gracie" is mildly entertaining but neither the plot nor characters hold up to scrutiny.
The DVD (New Line 2007): Widescreen and full screen versions are on the same disc. Bonus features are a theatrical trailer, 2 audio commentaries, and a featurette called "Bringing Gracie to Film" (27 min). This interviews Andrew and Elizabeth Shue, Davis Guggenheim, the cast, and others about developing the story from the Shues' family life, casting, working with family, and filming soccer. The 1st audio commentary is by director Davis Guggenheim, who talks about the details taken from his wife's family, locations, themes, the characters' experiences, his decisions and intentions. The 2nd audio commentary is by Andrew and Elizabeth Shue, who compare their experiences and traditions with those represented in the film, and talk about characters, real locations, and shooting the film."