"The Mighty Macs," coming to theaters this weekend, is based on the inspiring true story of Rush and the original women's basketball Cinderella team: tiny Immaculata College and their improbable run toward sports history, winning the first three women's college basketball national championships.
Basketball movies are as alike as, well, football movies. But every so often, one comes along with a message, a performance, or a subplot that raises it above the norm. Indeed, the good ones usually provide a metaphor for life ("Hoop Dreams," "Hoosiers," "Coach Carter"). I'm not sure I'd put it alongside Hoosiers, but Mighty Macs has valuable messages (perseverance saves the day, teamwork, and "You gotta have heart, miles and miles of heart"), and at some point someone said, "Let's make this family friendly."
Devoid of crudity or exploitive sexuality, the story centers on its goal, reminding us how to play the game of life. And despite the fact that it's as familiar as a Three Stooges rerun, the makers infuse their story with humor, lively pacing and a respect for Christian values. The Mighty Macs is moving, thoughtful and involving.
Phil Boatwright reviews films from a Christian perspective for Baptist Press and is the author of "Movies: The Good, The Bad, and the Really, Really Bad," available on Amazon.com. He also writes about Hollywood for previewonline.org and moviereporter.com.
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