Love of the Game

by Alan Rapp on February 10, 2011

in Theme Week, Top Tens & Lists

Here are some sports films that you could pick up to watch together for Valentine’s Day. Don’t worry though, these have got plenty of romance in them as well.


wimbledon-dunst-bettanyPeter Colt (Paul Bettany) is on his way out of the game.  The aging British tennis player once ranked eleventh in the world has fallen to 119.  Into his life comes the young fearless American phenom Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst).  Their relationship reinvigorates Peter’s game as he takes one last chance at winning Wimbledon and as the two try to make a go of a relationship despite the pressures of winning, the paparazzi, and Lizzie’s disapproving father (Sam Neil).  Nice supporting performances too by James McAvoy as the type of guy who bets against his brother, Jon Favreau as the lecherous sports agent, and John McEnroe providing some humorous commentary to the matches.  Read the Full Review.

Tin Cup

tin-cup-russo-costnerWashed up golf pro Roy McAvory (Kevin Costner) falls for psychiatrist Molly Griswold (Rene Russo) who is dating golf golden boy, and heated rival, David Simms (Don Johnson).  To prove he’s better than David (who hates old people, children and dogs), and to try and win Molly’s heart, Roy signs up to qualify for the US Open.  The bad news is Roy is a world class screw-up who always goes for broke even when he doesn’t need to.  The good news is Molly is kind of attracted to that.  Nice comedic touches and some good editing that make golf seem actually interesting!  The supporting cast includes Cheech Marin and Linda Hart.

The Replacements

replacements-keanu-brookeThe NFL goes on strike and the owners fill the league with replacement players.  For the Washington Sentinels that means a team led by down and out quarterback Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves) and sporting the likes of Orlando Jones, Jon Favreau, and Rhys Ifans.  Falco is given the second chance by new coach Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) and finds a new chance at love with Sentinel cheerleader and bar owner Annabel (Brooke Langton).  Great?  Well no, but it’s good dumb fun with nice chemistry between Langton and Reeves and funny moments with the team.

Bull Durham

bull-durham-picAnnie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) is what you might call a minor league baseball groupie.  Every year she picks a guy and this year she has her eyes set on two: up and coming, but dumb as a rock, pitcher Nuke (Tim Robbins) and end of his career catcher Crash (Kevin Costner).  The love triangle is eventually whittled down to two; Sarandon and Costner provide some serious heat on the screen in this one and Costner’s speech about 95 mph fastball and slow kisses that last for days has been known to make women swoon.  As much, if not more, about love as baseball.  Not my favorite Costner baseball film (that will always be Field of Dreams) but still a damn good flick.


rocky-and-adrian“Yo, Adrian!”  Probably the most romantic sports film out there.  Rock Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) a bum of a boxer is given a chance of a lifetime to box the champion of the world (Carl Weathers).  While training for the fight with Mickey (Burgess Meredith) Rocky also romances the shy sister Adrian (Talia Shire) of his loudmouth best friend Paulie (Burt Young).  Stallone and Shire’s romance is awkward and real and never too forced or too Hollywood; both are incomplete and damaged and yet together they find the strength to do the impossible (and keep doing it for four sequels).  As Mr. T would say (like, in say Rocky III) I pity the fool who don’t like Rocky.

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