I am not a fan of football, in fact while I can tolerate most other sports, there’s something about football that just pisses me right off. So when I got an invitation to review an advance screening of My All American, I nearly turned it down. Really I find myself with the same dilemma that I did last year with Ender’s Game. The thing is, that turned out pretty well didn’t it? So I bit the bullet and headed out.
The thing you have to understand about My All American is that this is a GOOD film. Because of that, the subject matter is irrelevant. My All American spent two hours making me forget that I hate football, and if that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what you people want from me! My All American is the story of Freddie Steinmark, an underdog, a young man who is single-mindedly devoted to football period there is no other way he could possibly conceive living his life, despite the fact that he weighs in at 145lb, and stands less then 6 feet tall. It is the story of a person who is willing to put in the work, willing to earn every inch and who achieves every dream that he possibly can, while inspiring others along the way. That inspiration by the way, is what really struck me period through a lot of this film, I admit there were times like I felt I was watching Superman -and I embraced that. I know, what else would you expect, but honestly Finn Wittrock‘s Freddie feels so very much like Clark Kent in that he expects nothing, he has no entitlement, and no bitterness. He is an aspirational figure and an inspirational figure. He is always there for others, he is always willing to do the right thing for no other reason then it’s the right thing period and it almost makes me wonder what he’s doing playing football…
Aaron Eckhart is marvellous in this film playing Coach Royal. Previously I have only seen him in The Dark Knight, and that’s not really a great frame of reference. Eckhart manages to be hard yet and empathetic, and reminds us of what kind of figure both inspirational and supportive a coach is supposed to be.
The ending of the film is heartbreaking, and perhaps just a bit telegraphed. Still you willingly fall into the emotions because the film has done such a great job of investing you in the characters. if you’re looking for the next great football film, this may be it. If you have no interest in football at all, find someone who does have that interest and go with them that because this is a film everyone should see.
My All American opens in theaters November 13th