Movie Review: The Longshots (Keke Palmer, Ice Cube) (2008)

Posted: December 10, 2012 in Drama

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Jasmine Plummer (Palmer) is a shy, bookish girl, who is made fun of by the other kids and is something of an outcast. Jasmine’s mother Claire (Tasha Smith) works late and her father ran out on Jamine, so Claire asks her brother-in-law Curtis (Ice Cube) to take care of Jasmine after school. Curtis is kind of down on his luck. He used to be a football player in high, but he tore up his knee, and the factory that he worked in closed down, so now Curtis mostly drinks beer, and dreams of moving to Miami. Curtis is always carrying a football around, and one day Jassmine throws him the football. He notices that she has a pretty good arm, and he starts doing quarterback drills with her. The local football team stinks and Curtis knows the coach, so he pressures the coach to give Jasmine a tryout, and she makes the team. Soon enough Jasmine is starting in real Pop Warner football games and winning them. Quickly, the whole town is backing Jasmine, and cleaning up the town’s appearance as well. Can Jasmine win the Pop Warner super bowl? Will her dad stay in her life?

I liked this movie, because it’s thankfully short on clichés and it is based on a true story, but they don’t try to glamorize the characters. Jasmine is not popular, even after making the football team. Uncle Curtis is really down and out, they do real football drills, and they show Jasmine getting knocked down in practice and in real games. The ending is especially gratifying. Ice Cube is ok as Uncle Curtis, doing a passable job, but it is Keke Palmer who makes this movie rise above average Hollywood fare. She carries this movie on her shoulders, much as she did Akeela and the Bee, and makes it believable. It is an especially important theme for young girls to hear, there should be no limits to what a young girl can do, that’s what this movie illustrates, and it does so, well.

The Longshots. Long on heart.

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