Regal Cinema - Hazleton, PA
We went to see Mystery Movie Monday a few weeks ago, but there were technical difficulties that the theater were not able to resolve. The movie that was supposed to be shown that night was Champions, which hadn't premiered yet. The trailer for this movie was funny, but I was a bit apprehensive about going to see it on the chance that it would either be schmaltzy or disrespectful to people who have intellectual disabilities. I'm very glad to say that neither of those things were the case.
This movie hit on the right combination of being both funny and heartwarming. Woody Harrelson as Coach Marcus was fantastic, as always, but I particularly enjoyed the performance of Kevin Iannucci, who plays Johnny, and Kaitlin Olson, who plays his older sister and Harrelson's love interest, Alex. The other standouts of the cast include Casey Metcalfe, who is hysterically funny, James Day Keith, who delivers an inspiring performance of a young athlete who stands up to his ignorant boss so that he doesn't miss the big game, and Madison Tevlin, who plays the bad ass who whips her teammates into shape when they won't listen to the coach. I was also very glad to see Ernie Hudson and Cheech Marin, both of whom deliver powerful understated performances. All together, Champions is right up there with the best sports comedies that I've watched in a long time.