"Give Girls a Chance"
What You Need To Know:
GRACIE is a well-acted, ultimately heartwarming story, but the scenes of a rebellious 16-year-old girl going out to a bar with her girlfriend and seeing older boys are uncomfortable. Though her father intervenes in the nick of time, until that point, these scenes may seem adventurous to some teenagers. A stronger moral focus would have helped.
(B, P, C, Pa, PC, Fe, Ho, LL, V, S, N, A, D, MM) Light pro-family worldview with a lightly positive view of American life and a brief reference to Christianity at a funeral, plus some mixed pagan elements, light politically correct, feminist view about giving girls a chance to play sports that supports the federal government getting involved, and heroine’s girlfriend complains that she doesn’t want to be tagged a “lesbian” because her friend plays soccer; 13 obscenities and two light profanities; boys deliberately hit and trip girl when she tries to play soccer with them; teenage kissing and teenage girl lies about her age and ends up in the backseat of a car with a college-age boy, but her father intervenes; upper male nudity; underage alcohol use when the drinking age was 18; smoking; and, teenage rebellion is not rebuked enough, teenage girl sneaks out of the house and lies about her age to get into a bar when the age limit was 18, and family tension.
GRACIE is a sports drama about a teenage girl who has trouble when she wants to try out for the high school boys’ soccer team.
Set in the late 1970s, the movie opens with her older brother, Johnny, failing to beat the school rival during penalty kicks. Later that night, Johnny dies in a traffic accident while out with his friends.
The family, of course, is devastated by Johnny’s death. Gracie tries to make them feel better by announcing that she plans to honor her brother’s memory by trying out for the boys team and winning the championship next year. Gracie’s announcement only makes her father more upset. Gracie is hurt and tries to find solace by hanging out with the wrong crowd and sneaking into bars.
Happily, her father catches his only daughter before she makes a fatal mistake. He agrees to train Gracie and help her get into the tryouts for the boys soccer team. Other obstacles stand in Gracie’s way.
Actress Elisabeth Shue and her brother, Andrew, star as the mother and a coach in GRACIE, which is directed by her husband, who also directed AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. The Shues come from a soccer-playing family and wanted to do something in memory of their older brother, Will, who died in an accident in 1988.
GRACIE is a well-acted, ultimately heartwarming story, but the scenes of a rebellious 16-year-old girl going out to a restaurant and bar with her girlfriend and seeing older boys are uncomfortable. Though her father intervenes just in the nick of time, until that point, these scenes may seem adventurous to some teenagers. A stronger moral focus would have helped. The discipline and involvement that the father finally provides in the story hits a snag later in the story when school officials at first deny Gracie’s request to try out for the boys’ team. Parents need more help with restraining their teenagers’ passions than this movie provides.
Some viewers may also be bothered that the movie pays tribute to Title IX, the ill-conceived federal law that has given girls the chance to play more school sports but that has also deprived some boys from being able to participate in some sports.