My All American Review
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As a screenwriter, Angelo Pizzo has been responsible for the classic sports dramas Hoosiers and Rudy. For his latest true sports film, My All American, he does double duty as writer and director, resulting in a moving underdog story that goes beyond the typical formulas.

My All American tells the true story of Freddie Steinmark (Finn Wittrock), a football player from Denver whose boundless passion and determination made up for his small stature. While most college coaches thought he was too small to play, though, University of Texas coach Darrell Royal (Aaron Eckhart) saw something special in him, and he decided to offer him a full scholarship. In his sophomore year, with the team fighting back after a disappointing season, Freddie was moved up to starting safety. And he soon found himself at the head of his team, leading them to a winning season, with a national championship within their reach.

  
 
While some football dramas focus on the characters and their stories, all but forgetting about the sport in the process, My All American doesn’t skimp on the football footage, following Freddie and his teammates through tryouts, practices, and games. The story simply fills the spaces, offering brief glimpses of his life off the field—his friendships, his family, and his relationship with girlfriend Linda (Sarah Bolger). It isn’t developed especially well, but it’s still more than enough to help audiences connect with the character.

Wittrock’s Freddie is an upbeat character who faces everything with bright, twinkling eyes and a big, infectious smile. He’s a sweet kid who works hard because he has big dreams for the future—and no matter what kind of challenges and rejections come his way, he faces each one with determination and optimism that tends to inspire those around him. Perhaps he’s a touch too perfect—sometimes the character seems a little too good to be true—but he’s so tenacious, so full of life, that you can’t help but love him.

His story, meanwhile, has plenty of ups and downs—both its struggles and its triumphs. But if you don’t already know the outcome—and if you’re expecting the usual against-all-odds sports drama formula—you may be in for a surprise. Freddie’s story is both inspiring and touching—so be sure to bring tissues.

My All American mixes likable characters and a whole lot of football to tell a sweet and moving story about an athlete who battled his own limitations to lead his team to victory. It probably won’t become a classic like Pizzo’s other films—at least not outside Austin, Texas—but it’s sure to have sports drama fans cheering (and tearing up) in their seats.


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