I hadn’t seen this one for a few years, so I was a little taken aback by what an arrogant jerk the Cruise character was throughout much of the movie.
The story’s about a flawed character screwing up and paying a steep price he then has to make efforts to overcome, so I understand why having such an unsympathetic character carry the movie was necessary…but it did make the movie a bit more trying to sit through.
I could appreciate the storytelling decision without actually enjoying it, if that makes any sense.
Oddly enough, when I first saw this movie back in high school, I didn’t pick up on just how cocky and pigheaded Cruise’s character was; I had more sympathy back then for his character than for the football coach he has a falling-out with.
This time around, my sympathies were firmly with the coach.
I also remember it having more football scenes than it actually does. It’s not really a sports movie, though. It’s a drama about character and maturity, with a high school football backdrop. (And a bland, early ’80s synth-laden Pop-Rock score that really hasn’t held up well at all).
The narration in this trailer doesn’t really suit the tone of the actual movie. A bit too peppy, if you ask me:
Something I didn’t realize until yesterday when I was reading up on the film– it was a product of Lucille Ball Productions’ 1981 deal with Twentieth Century-Fox. From what I’ve read, Lucy had her name removed from the film after viewing the final cut and finding its language and nudity objectionable. Lucy’s husband, Gary Morton, kept his name on the film as Executive Producer, though.