The Comebacks

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:24 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Comebacks
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: David Koechner, Carl Weathers, Melora Hardin, Matthew Lawrence, Brooke Nevin
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Fox Atomic
Release Date: 2007
Kiddie Movie: Keep it to the teens and older.
Date Movie: Only if your date thinks the trailer is kind of funny.
Gratuitous Sex: It’s PG-13 so Brooke Nevin doesn’t get naked, but we get lots of adult innuendos, skimpy outfits, and a leg-humping iPod.
Gratuitous Violence: Over-the-top football stuff.
Action: This ain’t no action flick.
Laughs: Quite a few.
Memorable Scene: Randy’s big chance.
Memorable Quote: Coach: “What do we want him to do?”
Team: “Die sad!”
Directed By: Tom Brady

Sometimes I think about trying to join one of the film critic societies, like the Online Film Critics or even the Chicago Film Critics Association, and then I come out of a movie like “The Comebacks” and realize that if they investigated me, read my review of this movie, and realized I gave it the same rating as “Michael Clayton,” well, my credibility might be shot because I’m going to guess that when the reviews come out, well, I don’t see “The Comebacks” getting a lot of praise. So maybe I should start my own society, and since I’ve already proclaimed myself King of “The Land of the Easily Amused,” maybe “The Film Society of the Easily Amused” might not be such a stretch. If you can’t guess from this opening paragraph so far, well, I liked “The Comebacks.”

Coach Lambeau Fields (I suppose we can assume his parents were Green Bay Packer fans) pretty much sucks as a coach, leaving mishaps in his wake of what should be historic sports moments. For example, Coach Fields gets the blame for causing Bill Buckner’s error during the 1986 World Series. Kind of in retirement, his fellow coach, Freddie (Carl Weathers), lets Lambeau know about an opening at Heartland State University in Texas for a head football coach. He takes the position after promising his wife, Barb (Melora Hardin), that he wouldn’t let coaching get in the way of paying attention to the family, and of course, he forgets about his family.

So the good coach is at Heartland State, has a rag-tag group of football players to meld, and no, this is not your serious, sports, “based on a true story” kind of movie; Nope, this film works to spoof tons of inspirational sports movies, like “Field of Dreams,” “Stick It,” “Bend It Like Beckham,” “Radio,” and “Rudy,” but unlike say a “Scary Movie” type of film, that really builds on parodies of horror films, “The Comebacks” mostly just uses the sports film as a quick joke and then gets back to the story at hand – Coach Fields trying to once and for all not be such a loser.

In the mix you get Lance (Matthew Lawrence) as the quarterback who has a knack for fumbling a lot, Michelle (Brooke Nevin) as the rebellious daughter of Coach Fields who helps Lance get over his fumbling in a very creative way, Trotter (Jackie Long) as the over-the-top, bling-wearing receiver who has spreewells on his Segway yet a soft spot for “My Little Pony” collectibles, rather than “Radio” we get iPod (Jermaine Williams), and not to be left out is the little runt of the team, Randy (Martin Spanjers), who has one of the funniest moments in the movie, especially since his name is very similar to one Rudy Ruettiger.

The thing I found a little odd about “The Comebacks” is that it probably could have been left on its own as a comedy without having to keep trying to make fun of other sports movies, not that it wasn’t funny seeing Rocky Balboa disintegrate into a puff of dust, but it wasn’t necessary because the core story of the film was funny enough.

My easiest recommendation is for you to watch the trailer for the film; it pretty much lets you know the jokes you will get. I can probably guess that if you are an adult still living in “The Land of the Easily Amused,” you will probably enjoy “The Comebacks” and as an adult may I recommend you watch out for a few things: The school logo for Heartland State (I almost wish I could buy one of their t-shirts); The nickname for the gymnastics team spelled out on their shirts; And pay close attention to the filmstrip from the photo booth that Lambeau is holding in a moment of sadness (I started laughing, the older couple behind me finally saw what I saw, but the young teens who I think snuck out of school to see the film didn’t seem to get it, thankfully).

The movie gave me exactly what I expected, and then a little more, and as much as Ali Larter made the whipped-cream bikini famous in “Varsity Blues,” Brooke Nevin’s (as Michelle) method for helping a football player get over the dropsies might become famous, but sadly won’t be able to be used by any coaching staff. So, yea, I’m going to give “The Comebacks” the same rating I gave “Michael Clayton,” 4 stars out of 5. You might only give it 1, but then you probably aren’t an adult living in my kingdom, nor a 13 year old male.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!