Making the Grades
Rudy is a movie about a boy with a dream he cannot awaken from. All his life, Rudy (Sean Austin) and his family watch football on television. If Notre Dame is playing, the game is almost a religious experience. The scrawny little kid does his best on the high school team, with an unrealistic desire to one-day wear the uniform of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
In order for that to happen, Rudy must do two things: Get grades good enough to ensure acceptance into one the country's most prestigious universities, and then try to secure a position on one of the country's top university football teams. Rudy has no shortage of people telling him why this can't be done-- his father (Ned Beatty) being the most persistent at offering such advice.
If you have the same lack of interest in this contact sport that I do, your first impression may be to pass this one by. But Rudy really isn't a football film. While the story features a come-from-behind kid with guts (like dozens of other sports movies), it is not all about looking for glory. Instead, it's about having enough persistence and determination to try to reach your dreams, no matter what the odds. It recognises that scoring a winning touchdown in the final moments of the last game is not what makes a hero. And the plight of the undersized protagonist with the oversized ambition exemplifies emotions that even lethargic guys like me can relate to.
Based on a true story, Rudy leaves you with new motivation to tackle your most difficult goals. Although the language in Rudy is somewhat rough (with references to deity as well as other profanities), parents and teens may still benefit from its messages of hard work and determination. "The little football player that could" reminds us that even impossible dreams are worth believing in.