Her Best Move
There is nothing in Her Best Move which you haven’t seen before.
Take a dollop of Bend It Like Beckham, add a pinch of She’s the
Man, a cup of Gracie and a dash of the Blake Lively section of
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – and then you’d still only be
touching on the girl-playing-soccer
parts of this movie. There is also the overbearing dad as a coach, the
cute, arty boy who has a crush on our heroine but is too shy to say it and
that beloved old standby of no one realizing how pretty the obviously
adorable girl is until she gets a makeover for the big dance.
Okay, Her Best Move is not at all original. That does not
necessarily mean it is not good.
even good may not be exactly the right term. Her Best Move is very
good for its audience. If you’re a ten to fifteen-year-old girl, you
will love it. If you’re older… or a man… it’ll be more of a underwhelming
Leah Pipes plays Sara, a young, slightly
tomboyish girl who has been taught to be a soccer star since she was a
little girl by her dad, who is a coach. At this point, she does
not even seem to have her heart totally in soccer, however she is nearly
killing herself to become the youngest girl to joint the US Soccer team.
She is just doing it to spend time with her dad, who is such a workaholic
that he has taken to sleeping in the office.
Sara nearly constantly refers to herself
as a loser (and there are several scenes that show she is not the only one
in the school who feels that way). Of course, this is a typical
Hollywood fantasy, because the "loser" is quite obviously adorable, but the
movie tries to convince us that no one takes the time to notice.
don't even fall back on the cliché of clunky glasses to mask her cuteness,
which makes it even harder to understand why she is such a pariah in the
school. She's cute, funny, likable and a star athlete - there should
be guys stalking her in the halls, rather than her being mocked by nerdy
boys as she sits in the cafeteria with her quirky (and only slightly less
pretty) best friend.
dad is played by Scott Patterson, who is best known as Luke, diner owner and
Lorelei's on-again, off-again love interest in Gilmore Girls.
Patterson does just fine in a slightly clichéd and inscrutable part.
We've all seen the dad who puts sports before family many times before,
there is not all that much new he can add to the role.
However, Patterson does add a bit of professionalism and gravitas to the
cast. In fact, Patterson is the only actor I recognized here, with the
exception of a bit part by long-time character actor Julio Oscar Mechoso as
the jovial, family-oriented father of Sara's bitchy top competitor for the
soccer team spot.
Eventually, Sara falls into
deep like (after all, this movie is rated G!) with the hunky, outcast, arty
new kid in school (Drew Tyler Bell.) They are obviously MFEO ("meant
for each other" in the speak of these characters) though some ridiculous
roadblocks are thrown up keeping these kids from making out seriously -
mostly caused by Regina (Jhoanna Flores), the other girl who is after the
This film's simplistic
world view is shown in the fact that these two girls go from mortal
enemies to respectful close friends in the course of one short conversation.
However, the target
audience of Her Best Move is not looking for deep emotional payoffs.
It's looking for cute girls, hunky guys, some sanitized teen angst and
eventually true love. That, in a nutshell, is Her Best Move.
Copyright ©2008 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: September 8, 2008.