The Hallmark Channel produces as many as 100 films in a year, and A Winning Team may be its only soccer movie, ever. Like most Hallmark films, it’s also about how love of family plus a little romance pull the lead lady footballer back to a real life.
Credit this film for its high quality and unusual story. Despite a lengthy 2 hours and 47 minutes, I did not check my watch while viewing Jaadugar (जादूगर). The story is well-shot and well-edited, and it deftly weaves together a tale of romantic comedy, football, and magic. In addition, I was entranced by the brilliant smile of its star, Jitendra Kumar, who plays Meenu, an extremely goal-oriented young man whose dreams are tied to the soccer pitch, but not in a way you expect.
The Keeper is based on the young life of ManCity goalkeeper Bert Trautmann, whose worldwide fame is due to having weathered the last 20 minutes of the 1956 FA Cup Final with a broken neck.
But fittingly, that incident is a smaller part of the movie, because the real story is how a Nazi soldier and POW became a First Division GK in English football in just a few years after the end of World War 2.
See You Soon (До скорой встречи) is a beguiling romance that combines fairy tale, travelogue, and a little bit of soccer. Can America have a male soccer star who is a recognizable face worldwide but plays in the USA? To American hearts still aching from the failure to qualify in T&T, it feels like a fantasy.
You’re probably too young to have seen Some Like it Hot, an iconic 1959 comedy starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. In defiance of the film industry’s Hays Code, the film flirted with topics of homosexuality and cross-dressing.
Okay, you met this really nice, attractive, athletic, tries hard, never gives up, gets sweaty, male or female on the pitch. You both love soccer. Or, you already have your significant soccer soulmate and Valentine’s Day is coming up.
Bend It Like Beckham proves that when a story is close to the heart, it can make an outstanding soccer movie and family film. At $78M, BILB is probably the top-grossing soccer movie of all time (made for ~$7M).
A few years after making Bossa Nova, Bruno Barreto directed this Brazilian comedy, O Casamento de Romeu e Julieta, which is another, even better, soccer date movie.
Johan is a very enjoyable dramedy/romance that, in a gentle way, shows that soccer is just a game, even in the Netherlands. The youngest in a family of 11 soccer-obsessed Dutch boys and their father, Johan doesn’t fit in because his obsession is music.
Mad About Mambo isn’t known as a soccer movie, but it portrays soccer (and dance) ambitions in a light-hearted boy-wins-girl story that is sweet, humorous, and romantic. A 16 year old striker (William Ash) learns to samba with Keri Russell so that he can tryout for Belfast United.
Are you 40 to 50-something and need a romantic comedy for a date night? Bossa Nova is your ticket, with a touch of soccer and a still-sexy Amy Irving.
Rod Turner (Ian McShane) is Yesterday’s Hero, a former big soccer star and womanizer drinking his way to the end of his career. The pop star owner of the third division Saints signs him for the semi-final game of the League Cup over the protestations of the team Manager.
In Playing for Keeps, a retired and penniless Scottish soccer star (Gerard Butler) moves to a small town to reunite with his 9 year old son and soon-to-be-remarried ex-wife (Jessica Biel). He ends up coaching his son’s team on the way to becoming a responsible adult male and finding a new career as a sportscaster.
Coach is a straight-to-DVD film by first-time-feature Writer-Director Will Frears. Hugh Dancy is a slacker and soccer bum in New York City. He doesn’t need to work, but he finds romance and purpose when he takes a job coaching middle school kids to the league championship.