Roger Bennett, the wisecracking word-swilling nipple-tugging right half of Men in Blazers, created this stirring tale of AFC Bournemouth, known as the Cherries. He turns up the drama as AFCB rises from the pit of two successive bankruptcies and near relegation to the EPL in just 7 seasons.
This NBCSN documentary covers the club’s history, the bankruptcies, homegrown first-time manger Eddie Howe, and key games. This film appears to be 3 concatenated TV episodes, so some of the most emotional scenes are repeated. For example, Chairman Jeff Mostyn comes to tears as he recalls the morning he committed to writing a £100,000 ($150k) personal check to keep the club afloat through administration. As a financial advisor, he knew it was utter folly if not a true sign of career incompetence.
The soccer footage is well-curated, including games where thousands of fans rushed the field after staving off extinction, and again when celebrating promotion. The interview with Steve Fletcher, the then 37 year old forward whose goal saved the team from relegation in 2009, is inspiring. Fletcher continued playing until age 40, has part of the stadium named after him, and appears to remain associated with the club.
Learning about Eddie Howe was a treat. Only 31 years old, AFCB was his first managerial job, but he seems to be a dedicated student of successful motivation. He is fond of putting inspirational phrases on the club walls. “Together, Anything is Possible” is one of his key phrases.
In order to educate American viewers about the Premier League, in 2013 NBCSN developed the Premier League Download series of documentaries. Roger Bennett created several for the 2015 season.
8 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 8
(but needs better editing than just concatenation)