Believe in Me
PG
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2

Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Dern, Samantha Mathis. Sports drama. Written by Harold Keith and Robert Collector. Directed by Robert Collector.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Based on the novel Brief Garland by Harold Keith, Believe In Me tells the story of Clayton Driscoll, a boy's assistant basketball coach who accepts his first head coaching assignment in tiny, drought-riven Middleton, a backwater on the Oklahoma panhandle. Fortune sours immediately, though, when Driscoll discovers he's coaching girls, not boys. It is 1964 and, though the Civil Rights Amendment just passed and winds of social change swirl, time stands still on the prairie, where girls' athletics are merely a trifle, an afterthought, especially the woeful Middleton Lady Cyclones, for years an unfunded laughing stock. Driscoll's embarrassment with the girls' ineptitude, however, is soon tempered by their character and families: these are decent, tough, uncomplaining farmers' and ranchers' daughters, desperate to please their determined young coach. Encouraged by his wife, Driscoll gives his team "permission to be who they really are" on the court, as hard-nosed and passionate about winning as boys.

Believe In Me is based on the true story of coach Jim Keith, the novelist's nephew, who became a legend in Oklahoma high school basketball by inspiring girls to believe in themselves

PREVIEW REVIEW: As Ive said before, no other genre suffers more from sameness that the sports film. They are the equivalent of a by-the-numbers painting. Believe In Me fares no better. Even the ending has the last second winning point, like so many other sports flicks. But despite the same themes and character definitions, some of these films stand out due to style, message or just from an engaging performance. Believe In Me has all those qualities. It speaks of determination, team work, looking out for others and becoming the best you can be. Those precepts have been in every good sports film from Knute Rockne All American to Hoosiers to Remember the Titans. But those elements never seem to grow tiresome because they are elements hot-wired into the makeup of mankind. Though differing on political, social and religious dogmas, underneath we all desire the same things: to be warm, fed, loved and respected. This same movie gets made over and over because they acknowledge those fundamentals.

Believe In Me is entertaining, filled with tender moments as well as humorous ones, with a satisfying, uplifting ending.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: IFC Films

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: Two obscenities (SOB, s-word) and five or so minor expletives (damn, hell, ass).
Profanity: One misuse of Jesus name and the expression oh my God. But there is a reverence paid as we see the main cast members attend church and the team in prayer.
Violence: One brawl on the court. A couple of injuries happen on court. Blood: None other than a bloodied nose after the court fight.
Sexual Intercourse: None. A young couple runs off to get married; later we learn she is pregnant; we see a child birth, but it doesnt get graphic just loud.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: The married couple discuss adopting.
Drug Abuse: None
Other: None
Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Family

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