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Featured DVD Review: Coach

June 8th, 2010

Coach - Buy from Amazon

Hugh Dancy stars in Coach, a small film that I had never heard of until I was invited to review it. This is arguably the best part of my job, getting to review films that have slipped beneath most people's radar. On the other hand, a lot of times there are legitimate reasons why these films are not well publicized. So which is the case here? Is it an undiscovered gem, or something rightfully swept under the rug?

Hugh Dancy stars as Nick, a trust-fund kid that at 30 years old has never really showed much interest in becoming an adult. He spends most of his time drinking with his friends and playing soccer. His total lack of ambition results in his model girlfriend, Zoe, dumping him and leaving for Los Angeles after landing an acting gig.

Despondent, Nick looks for comfort with his friends, but they all have jobs and kids and can't hang out. This is when he walks past a basketball court and sees a young boy, Hector, playing soccer by himself. He recognize that Hector has skill, but hasn't been able to tap that potential. Nick asks who his coach is. Turns out he doesn't have one. Nick forms an idea. He'll become the coach, thus allowing him to show his ex-girlfriend that he's growing up and has ambition. Plus, he gets to be involved in soccer. It's win-win.

Things do get more complicated when he bonds with his players and becomes close to a doctor he meets after one of his players are injured in a game. Also, the father of that player thinks that Nick is trying to be a father to his son, stepping in on his territory.

There's nothing particularly original about this movie and most people who see it will recognize a lot of it. It's a typical romantic comedy with a heavy dose of sports added in. Hugh Dancy and Liane Balaban are charming as a couple and he does work well with the kids. That said, the script doesn't flow well. For instance, his decision to become a coach of a middle-school soccer team doesn't feel organic and feels more like something contrived by a screenwriter looking for a way to move his plot forward. Also, most of the players on his team are very much background characters and many only really get one scene with Nick. Granted, these are some of the best scenes in the film, but they feel wedged into the movie in a way that hurts the natural flow of the movie. And the romantic comedy elements added to the end don't help.

None of this kills the film, but none of it helps either.

There are no extras on this DVD.

The Verdict

Coach is an enjoyable, albeit lightweight movie that has a lot of recognizable elements. Perhaps the script needed another pass to help the story flow better and feel more real and organic. That said, for fans of the genre, it is worth checking out, even if the DVD is only worth a rental.


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