According to the sports editors here at The Eagle, AU’s field hockey team had a truly incredible season. We in The Scene naturally don’t know what to do with this information. “Can you compare it to a movie or some other piece of pop culture detritus?” we ask while scratching our heads like chimps. “No” they answer, and then they put us back in headlocks.
But we want to understand, and we need Hollywood to help. So, where’s our movie about field hockey? You have done good movies about underrepresented sports before. Need inspiration? Here are our picks for the best non-traditional sports movies.
“Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”
This film quite literally has everything you could ever want — Ben Stiller with flawless, feathered hair, pirates and tons of quote-worthy comedy. “Dodgeball” follows the story of a group of friends competing in a national dodgeball tournament in order to win prize money to keep their gym from closing down. Starring Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Justin Long, and chock full of surprising cameos from the likes of Chuck Norris and David Hasselhoff, “Dodgeball” is a hysterical caricature of America’s most-beloved (and feared) PE sport.
“Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”
While some say there’s nothing more American than football, NASCAR comes in at a pretty close second. In “Talladega Nights” Will Farrell and John C. Reilly pull out their inner rednecks to play the unstoppable duo of Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton Jr., two stock car drivers and best friends that dominate the track. However, problems arise in the form of French champion Jean Girard (played by the hilarious Sacha Baron Cohen) when he suddenly starts posing a challenge to the twosome’s winning streak. It’s absurd and inaccurate, but NASCAR has never seemed so funny.
“Lords of Dogtown”
Based on the true story of the Z-Boys in Santa Monica, California in the 1970s, “Dogtown” is a gritty coming-of-age film about the beginning of skateboarding. Starring then unknown actors John Robinson, Victor Rasuk, Michael Angarano and Emile Hirsch, the film follows a group of teenagers pushing the boundaries of the sport, developing new tricks and skating in empty pools. “Dogtown” is a no-holds-barred view of the ups and downs of adolescence, sickness and of course, skateboarding. The film also boasts a killer 70s soundtrack, from the likes of Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix, as well as memorable performances from the late Heath Ledger and Mitch Hedberg.
Alright, so maybe pingpong is a sport mocked more often than celebrated, but the 2002 Japanese film “Ping Pong” managed to turn the game of table tennis into a lesson of friendship and adventure. The film is adapted from a manga of the same name, which of course means that the film has elements of the supernatural and gratuitous amounts of high-flying drama. Whether you’re a geek for pingpong or not, this film has all the makings of a great sports film.
This classic film from 1980 has stood the test of time as one of the best comedies ever made. “Caddyshack” takes place at the Bushwood Country Club, following the story of Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) who becomes a caddy for rich golfers like Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) and Judge Smails (Ted Knight) in order to save money for college. In addition, the film follows the colorful and kooky antagonist, Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) and greenskeeper assistant Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) who’s hell-bent on ridding the golf course of gophers. “Caddyshack” is a simply fantastic film and a funny portrayal of life at a country club.
“Bring It On”
First, let’s just get this out of the way — yes, cheerleading is a sport, and a difficult one at that. And “Bring It On” is perhaps the best film to display the competitive world of the sport. The film follows a high school cheerleading team attempting to recreate their image and reinvent the moves they’ve learned. It’s a hyperbolic high school experience, but is incredibly entertaining, starring Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union. The only thing that could possibly taint the film’s awesomeness is the horrendous slew of sequels it spawned.