We Need More Sports Movies Starring Women

Written by :
Published on : October 1, 2016

 

It’s no mystery that SBS loves sports movies. We have done lists of the best ones, covered some of our favs in detail and make callbacks to the best lines and moments in many articles. At this point, these films have become part of the larger culture, an integral part of the modern sports landscape. Which brings me to my point, we need more sports movies featuring women. We have an embarrassingly low amount of them and that needs to change.

 

Boys grow up with a plethora of male athletes in many different sports to act as their role models. Plus all the fictional ones in movies, video games and television. Young women have way less in this department which is tragic because growing minds need movies to show them they can do anything. Cinema is the telling of a hero’s story. It may sound silly but where else does a kid learn that they can overcome any obstacle and win it all with just hard work and determination? Of course from the parents but that message needs to be echoed in the world for it to truly stick.

 

bend-it-like-beckham

 

Sports movies show us a narrative of the underdog and reveals the viewer’s own potential. It is incredibly powerful. Not just for athletes, for everyone. Understanding all that, you can see my call for action. After a little research I found these films. All starring women, set in sports.

 

A League of their Own (1992)

The Next Karate Kid (1994)

Eddie (1996)

Girlfight (2000)

Bring it On (2000)

Bend it like Beckham (2002)

Blue Crush (2002)

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Against the Ropes (2004)

Ice Princess (2005)

Whip It (2009)

 

I’m sure I’m missing some but still, that’s not a lot. Part of the criteria is that these all had to be theatrically released. No made for TV garbage. Also no dance movies were considered. But cheerleading counts. This is because cheer is deeply rooted in the American sport experience and if I included dance flicks then most of the list would be dance movies and that’s not what this is about. And some of these had sequels but we are talking original sports stories.

 

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

 

Shout outs to Wimbledon (2004) and Little Giants (1994) for having strong female roles but the main characters are still men. She’s the Man (2006) is a female lead and has soccer in the background but the sports angle isn’t really strong enough. Amanda Bynes does disguise herself to play on the men’s team which is fun but it’s more of a romantic comedy than anything else. I half considered adding The Hunger Games (2012) but, you know, not a real sport. Still good though.

 

It’s a sad state of affairs when studios make multiple sports pictures about men pretending to be women so they can compete (Lady Bugs, Juwanna Man) but no one wants to make any real stories of female athleticism. And while I’m on my soapbox, let’s get some more diversity on screen. It can’t all be white people. I watch sports. I know.

 

So I challenge Hollywood and all the executives, male and female, make more sports movies starring women. We must have these stories for our kids so they get to see heroics can come from all walks of life. Everyone is an underdog and sports teaches us that it’s okay. We can overcome.

 

Play like a girl.

 

 


How The Karate Kid Ruined My LIfe

Written by :
Published on : May 22, 2016

 

 

One of my favorite movies growing up was 1984’s The Karate Kid. If you haven’t seen it, fuck off. If you don’t remember it, it’s essentially teenage Rocky in the San Fernando Valley. Ralph Macchio learns karate from wise old Mr. Miyagi so he can stand up to these Corba Kai jerks and go out with Elisabeth Shue. I loved this movie, and it created several lifelong obsessions: movies about teenagers, “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama, Elisabeth Shue and most importantly, karate.

 

Being a martial arts expert seemed like the coolest thing in the world to me. You could not give a fuck about anything and beat up anyone who tried to mess with you. As a shy and socially awkward kid, this was all that I wanted. I signed up for a taekwondo class convinced that I had discovered the shortcut to self-confidence. I was 100% wrong about that.

 

The problems started even before I got to class. Putting on the outfit, or gi, for the first time, I had a horrible realization: there was nothing cool about wearing this thing. First of all, it’s white. And it was definitely after Labor Day. Secondly, it’s this weird short robe that has multiple ties like a straitjacket. I began to understand why Jean Claude Van Damme always wound up shirtless in his movies. Realizing that everyone would be wearing a gi, I resigned myself to looking stupid. At least we would all looks stupid.

 

THE-KARATE-KID-3-DI-02

 

When I got to class, things got worse. I realized that this wasn’t going to be learning life lessons with an enchanting old man. I realized, for the first time, that this was karate class. It was school after school. That I willingly signed up for. What an idiot I had been! It wasn’t even a part of school that I enjoyed, like reading or lunch. It was basically gym class, led by somebody’s beefy dad who would sweat when he yelled at us. Very un-Miyagi. If I wanted to get yelled at, I could have stayed home.

 

I might have been able to put up with all this bullshit if the class had delivered the goods. But it totally did not. I learned a few basic punches and kicks, that’s it. Nothing that was going to impress Elisabeth Shue or fight off the Cobra Kai. When I saw a bunch of older kids waiting around for their class to start, I realized this wasn’t a shortcut to anything. This was like a cult: once you’re in, you’re supposed to stay in. After that first class, I told myself I wouldn’t be back for another class.

 

karate-kid

But then a funny thing happened: I didn’t quit right away. Because I realized that I didn’t know very much taekwondo, but I knew a little bit. Maybe that would be enough to diffuse a dangerous situation. I started waiting for something to happen, an excuse to show off my newly acquired karate moves. That’s when I realized that Ralph Macchio only learned karate because he was getting beat up everyday. Was I really hoping to be terrorized by a bully? Did I want my life to get worse just to prove that I went to a karate class? What the fuck was wrong with me?

 

After that, taekwondo only had one thing left to teach me: how to quit something your parents have already spent a bunch of money on. And I turned out to be pretty good at that. So thanks, Ralph Macchio.

 

 


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