It could be defined as a classic feel-good movie, one of those films capable of making us feel good in a simple and unpretentious way: we are talking about “Champions”, the new feature film by Bobby Farrelly starring Woody Harrelson.
The American actor plays Marcus, a former minor league basketball coach who, after a series of missteps, finds himself in front of a court that removes him from all positions and entrusts him with the management of a team of players with intellectual disabilities .
Although Marcus believes that these players are impossible to coach and that perhaps his job is only to make them feel united as a team, soon he will have to change his mind: the coach realizes that, despite his misgivings, this team could go better farther than he had ever imagined.
Director of demented and irreverent films, directed together with his brother Peter, Bobby Farrelly here changes his tone decisively compared to his more popular works, from “Dumb & Dumber” to “There’s Something About Mary”. Mixing drama and comedy, the American director gives life to a film that is undoubtedly predictable, but still pleasant to follow and suitable for viewing with the whole family.
Discounted messages in an enjoyable film
“Champions” is certainly an enjoyable product, even if it should be highlighted how much the message proposed is truly obvious: much more than their coach, it will be the boys who teach Marcus himself something, creating something special together. Sport, solidarity and the The importance of finding harmony in teamwork: these are the ingredients of a simple and somewhat didactic film, which is nonetheless dignified and endowed with a fine work by the entire cast, including a credible and intense Woody Harrelson. memorable titles that combine cinema and basketball (think of “He Got Game”, but also the more recent “Back to winning” with Ben Affleck), but basketball fans will still have fun, thanks also to a series of well settled light curtains.
A discreet surprise instead comes from “Billy”, the debut of the director Emilia Mazzacurati, born in 1995 and daughter of the late Carlo. The Billy of the title is a former child prodigy; in fact, at just nine years old he had created and hosted a successful music podcast. Today he is 19 years old, lives with his mother and absolutely doesn’t know what to do with his life: he is secretly in love with a girl, one of his neighbors, but he only hangs out with children between the ages of 8 and 12. When he meets his childhood idol, a long lost rocker, his life, however, changes completely. This feature film is a classic coming-of-age story about a boy looking for himself and finding his own place in the world. Trying to come to terms with a difficult past and through a series of new encounters, Billy tries to figure out who he should and wants to be: the young author follows the story with great passion and good personality, demonstrating a directorial ability far superior to most part of the first works we are used to. His debut remains a “small” film, devoid of particular flashes or large sequences to remember, but it is at the same time a sincere and spontaneous product, which also manages to excite in some passages.