There’s the underdog athlete (or athletes). Impossible odds. The coach who needs redemption. The funny supporting characters. At some point, all is lost. Then the music rises and our hero triumphs (cue the tears).
I’m a sucker for the heartwarming sports dramedy. It’s a formula, I know. But I love them. I watched another one of them last night — Eddie the Eagle — and I was reminded I’m a sucker for sports cliches. So be it.
If you are, too, here’s a short list of can’t-be-missed sweet sports movies:
- Eddie the Eagle: A Brit with more perseverance than talent strives to be an Olympian.
- Million Dollar Arm: A hack sport agent turns a couple of Indian cricket players into baseball stars.
- Cool Runnings: A ragtag bunch of Jamaicans form an Olympic bobsled team — even though there is no snow in Jamaica. I could watch this one once a year, just for John Candy.
- The Rookie: An over-the-hill high school teacher gives professional baseball another shot — and lands a minor league contract.
- A League of Their Own: An all-female baseball team playing during World War II seeks redemption. Bonus: Tom Hanks’ line “There’s no crying in baseball.”
All of the above are based on true stories, which makes them all the better in my mind (I just love nonfiction). But if you’re up for a little fantasy and baseball (only a rube would hate baseball), these two movies are great, too:
- Rookie of the Year: In a freak result of elbow surgery, a 12-year-old becomes a Major League Baseball pitcher.
- Angels in the Outfield: This one breaks the mold a little bit, because the main character — a kid from a broken home — is not the athlete but a fan. Throw in a little of the supernatural, and you’ve got a hit. Tears, every time.