Starring: Olivia d’Abo, Steve Guttenberg, Patrick Renna
Director: Holly Goldberg Sloan
Running Time: 99 mins
The Big Green is an American film about an English woman who comes to a small town in Texas to teach at the local school, and sets about bringing her downbeat class of kids together as part of the ultimate underdog soccer team.
A classic bit of Disney family fun, The Big Green is light-hearted, crowd-pleasing fun that, while certainly very simplistic, is harmless, lovable and really quite sweet throughout. It’s not a shrill, irritating kids’ movie, and in fact tells an underdog story so often handled poorly in a really likable and entertaining manner.
Of course, going into this film, there are no doubts about how things are going to unfold. The Disney formula is a predictable one when you’re dealing with stories this simplistic, and the underdog story of a rag-tag bunch of school kids taking on the most professional and seemingly unbeatable team in the league is always only going to end one way.
The surface story is simple and more than enjoyable enough for younger viewers, but there are parts of the movie that do also have the potential to delight adults too. Admittedly, you aren’t going to be getting edge-of-your-seat sporting drama here, but the film uses both humour and its own narrative tropes to good effect throughout.
Complete with a likable cast of characters from Olivia d’Abo to Steve Guttenberg, Patrick Renna and Anthony Esquivel, the movie is a really sweet bit of family entertainment, complete with all the charismatic and fun-filled performances that you would expect from a Disney movie.
The cast’s likability factor plays in wonderfully to the movie’s overall lovability, with the charismatic collection of characters delivering the film’s simple but sweet humour with real charm, and the increasingly tight-knit underdog soccer team winning your heart to the point that you really do want to will them on and see them win the big match come the end of the movie.
It’s cheesy, predictable and oh so simplistic, but The Big Green is one of those Disney movies that just does it all so right. Fun, sweet and light-hearted throughout, it’s a film that will make you laugh and smile, and still manage to entertain you even when it tells a well-trodden underdog story. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.3 overall.