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Running Time:
109 minutes

Rating: PG Parental Guidance Suggested.

Rating Explanation:
for mild language and thematic elements

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This film tries so hard to be a feel-good movie that you might feel bad when you don't like it.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Director's commentary; Deleted scenes; "Tuning in on Radio" featurette; "The 12-hour football games of Radio" featurette; "Writing Radio" featurette; "Someone to Lean On: The Story of Radio" DVD-ROM bonus.

Based on a true story, by Mike Rich, the writer of "The Rookie," this predictable story about the mentally challenged young man (Gooding), who was taken under the wing of a high school football coach (Ed Harris) and grows into a useful member of the sideline crew and a local celebrity as well. Despite the predictability, it's not a bad film, just unosurprising. There's the obvious star-jock bully who picks on the hero and gets benched for it, and the jock's callous father who subsequently upbraids the coach for not sharing his philosophies that "boys will be boys" and "winning is everything." There are too many other clichés of this type, so that the film has to rely totally on the acting abilities of the always expert Harris and Gooding Jr, who manages to rise to the occasion after too many recent failures. As the real-life James "Radio" Kennedy, who actually worked his way up to assistant coach of the Hanna Yellow Jackets after becoming the team's ball boy almost 30 years ago, Gooding plays with both dignity and believability and the well-cast Harris is excellent as the coach, but the movie's plot holds few if any surprises. Where "The Rookie," the heart-warming, inspired and beautifully made true-sports-miracle movie about a 40-something major league recruit was handled with unpretentious honesty by John Lee Hancock last year, this Rookie-wannabe, although directed adequately by Mike Tollin, is disappointing.

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