Against the Ropes

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

Against the Ropes is the fictionalized account of Jackie Kallens real-life journey from obscurity to success as a woman in the mans world of professional boxing. The daughter of a trainer and niece of a fighter, Kallen (Meg Ryan) is dissatisfied with her dead-end job as secretary for the manager of a major boxing venue. Her discontentment is exposed when she unexpectedly challenges Sam LaRocca (Tony Shalhoub), the arrogant and self-absorbed manager for the middleweight champ, suggesting that she could manage boxers as well as he does. LaRocca accepts the challenge, mocking Kallen by offering her a worthless boxer to manage. But with a little luck and determination to prove herself, Kallen discovers a real prizefighter, Luther Shaw (Omar Epps). With the help of retired trainer Felix Reynolds (Charles Dutton), they make a run for the middleweight championship against LaRoccas best boxer.

What Against the Ropes lacks in technical achievement and writing, it makes up for in emotional appeal. The depiction of the underdog rising to success pulls a heartstring or, in this case, two, with the partnership of unlikely contenders Kallen and Shaw. Each of them, having high potential that is stifled by the prejudices of the establishment, breaks free and succeeds by the sheer force of willpower. Kallen also uses her pushiness and skimpy tops and mini skirts. The film sends another positive message as Kallen ultimately overcomes the challenges to her integrity that come with success. Though uplifting, the story is not exactly true to life Kallens real biography involves the divorce of her husband of 30 years to pursue a career in boxing but its still fun to watch. It would be more fun without the objectionable language that earns the film a negative acceptability rating.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (55) times mild (hell 15, damn 6); moderate (butt 1, bastard 1, other 1); strong (ass 22, bitch 9)

Obscene Language: Many (33) times moderate (piss 1, screw 3); strong (s-word 26, other 3)

Profanity: Many (10) times moderate (G 3); strong (GD 4, J 1, C 1 C-sake 1)

Violence: Many times moderate (numerous competitive boxing scenes with some blood, men get in fistfight over an unpaid drug deal, man knocks another man into the wall, man attacks another man and hits him unexpectedly)

Sex: None

Nudity: Few times mild (woman dresses provocatively showing cleavage, man visits strip club with women viewed onscreen in bikinis)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times moderate (woman refers to her friends sexual relationship, man visits strip club with implication of other sexually motivated behaviors); strong (man refers to his desire for unconventional sex)

Drugs: Few times mild (scenes in bar with alcohol use); strong (men are caught doing drugs and attempting to purchase illegal drugs, possible references to cocaine)

Other: Depiction of a female attempting to survive in a male-dominated work environment and struggling to maintain her rights and to prove her abilities; woman struggles with the temptations of success, the need for integrity, and the risk of hurting people with careless words and actions; depiction of urban poverty and broken families

Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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