Was it necessary to make Friday Night Lights into a soap opera?
I love how football movies set in Texas feel the need to portray Texans as knuckledragging, dumb as shit hicks who know nothing about life outside small towns other than the sweet, addictive lure of football, which consumes everyone’s lives and is all everyone cares about.
Really, Varsity Blues is just the soapy version of Friday Night Lights, which is ridiculous given the fact that Friday Night Lights is about as good as it gets regarding football movies. The town they’re essentially portraying is one lone town in West Texas where football is king. There’s reasons for that; and while football is pretty much the preferred sport in Texas, I don’t think it’s this obscene. (No standing head coach of a high school has a freaking statue erected in his honor.) It’s hyperbole of the most ridiculous form and the movie lost me when they introduced the fat, slovenly character Billy Bob, who drives a souped up truck, eats stacks of pancakes slathered in peanut butter and has a pet pig.
There’s a point where it’s satire and then there’s a point where it’s just stupid. Varsity Blues is just stupid. And I don’t think Varsity Blues is even thought out enough to venture into satire.
To give it credit, Amy Smart and James Vanderbeek are pretty good; both have decent accents and handle the crap they’re given capably. Crazy Jon Voight doesn’t have to stretch much as he’s essentially playing himself with a Texas accent.
Just don’t ask me to buy into a football movie about Texas when you’re pretty much bordering on mocking said characters and then when you try and get me to buy Scott Caan as the teeniest, smallest running back in the entire history of football.
The movie is, in short, lame.