Imagine being a 15-year-old that stumbles upon a movie with sports, drama, and nudity. Varsity Blues is one of my top 15 movies. The movie itself isn’t all that great. Watching it again as an adult, I’m less enamored with the nudity and the hijinks of the football players. However, there is a nostalgia attached to it that takes me back to sitting in my bedroom watching every detail intently, hoping my high school years would mirror the movie.
Although, I couldn’t relate to some of the plot points of the movie (I had yet to lose my virginity and I definitely was not a star on my football team) it still was interesting to me. Lead character Mox (James Van Der Beek) had a roller coaster senior year. He went from being a bench warmer to the starter. His arm talent was always there but his shortcomings were that he was more a scholar than jock and that he was treated like his dad was decades before. The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree in the eyes of Coach Kilmer (Jon Voight).
Now the guy I thought was the coolest was Tweeter (Scott Caan). A total badass and goofball, Tweeter definitely made a scattered movie, funny. From stealing a cop car (he also detained a few hot, naked girls) to hitting an old school alum in the groin with a bat, Tweeter definitely is must watch in this movie. On the other end, there was more to be desired in the movie for a young Paul Walker. He plays star quarterback, Lance Harbor. Not too far into the movie he suffers a horrible ACL tear and with that he becomes part of the supporting cast.
The tear-jerking moment comes when Coach Kilmer berates and kicks the lovable offensive lineman Billy Bob (Ron Lester) out of a post-game meeting. At this point, you see how important football is for these kids and more so how much it is like religion in the state of Texas. Billy Bob is an interesting character, and as much as he is stupid, he is also kind hearted.
There’s even the stereotypical black guy role. Wendell Brown (Eliel Swinton) is the black kid that isn’t great in school but is the bell cow for the football team. He has all the rushing yards but no touchdowns because the coach prefers the quarterback gets the glory. Brown made the most of his opportunity and was a great supporting role.
The highlight of the movie is when the guys decide to go to a strip club the night before a big game. Too young to drink but they’re allowed in the club anyways and they’re having the time of their life. Then, they become witness to their favorite female teacher performing on stage at her second job. It leads to all kinds of hijinks and more nudity.
Overall, while not my favorite movie, it is one that remains etched in my mind based on when I viewed it. If I had one suggestion, I would tell a first time viewer to watch it with their significant other. After the movie, ask them to make you a sundae.
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