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Thursday, October 20, 2011

From Relative Obscurity to National Champs...

Two years after premiering in the Heartland Film Festival in Indiana, The Mighty Macs, is finally hitting nationwide theatres this weekend.

Billed as a true-life Cinderella story, in the mold of Rudy and Hoosiers (among my favorite movies!), the independent film is about a small town little known all-women’s Catholic school, named Immaculata College, that in 1971 was on the verge of financial despair, with no gym or respectable basketball program.

In comes Cathy Rush, a woman whose basketball playing career had been cut short due to injuries, as the new head basketball coach and the dysfunctional basketball team becomes a national powerhouse. 

During a time when most married women stayed at home, the newlywed Rush sets new boundaries and her unorthodox aggressive, driven to win and empowering style shakes up the way things are done at the college, which is run by an order of nuns.

Despite initial resistance, especially from the Mother Superior (Mother St. John), Rush is able to gain the support of a spunky nun (Sister Sunday) that serves as an assistant coach and several elderly nuns, who become the boosters for the team.

Rush’s contagious personality and leadership ignite a fire on the school and basketball team, turning a hapless and reluctant group of players into a team, despite barely squeaking into the first national women’s basketball tournament, wins it all.  Although, the movie focuses on the first year of the program under Rush, they actually win the national title for three consecutive seasons.

The movie stars Carla Gugino as Cathy Rush, Academy Award and Tony Award winner Ellen Burstyn, as Mother St. John, Marley Shelton as Sister Sunday and Bones co-star, David Boreanaz, as Rush’s husband.

As a father of two impressionable young daughters, I can tell you that this is definitely a must see film for my family.  Not to mention, after taking them to see Courageous last weekend, which by the way, is an excellent film but does have an unexpected twist that had everyone in my family crying during several scenes (except my 4-year-old son, who was upset that Mommy was crying), we need to watch an off-your-seat-cheer-at-the-screen type of feel good movie.

The Mighty Macs is Rated G.

For more on the movie, the real team and the college, see here.
Also, check out this preview:

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