The year 2000 was a bad year for most everybody. The stock market internet bubble burst in March, and then in November we all found out that because Flordia used 1950’s card reader technology in elections, the United States was incapable of electing a new President in November. We all remember the “hanging chads” stupidity and watching people, one in particular in Florida that looked cross-eyed holding up cards and trying to read the votes of people in Florida. It turned out that Al Gore really won the election, definitely the popular vote and in the end the supreme court assigned George W. Bush to be the new President in January 2001, a full two months after the election. During these two months as it had for the entire year of 2000, the stock market continued to go down just about every single day. For me, the year 2000 was one of the worst I have ever had, with financial loss and some very bad jobs, so going to a great movie like Remember the Titans, which is easily the greatest movie about Football ever made, gave me a lift, at least for a few days. For me, this is mostly what movies are all about, a temporary escape from reality and a chance to think about something else than your own problems.
The movie Remember the Titans is a true story of a High School Football team in Virginia that was extremely racially divided. This problem was made even worse when a black coach, played by Denzel Washington replaced the long-standing white coach, played by Will Patton and after that everything went from bad to worse. Now the new black coach; had a far more difficult task of not only having to mold a Football team but also deal with the racial problems that came up on a daily basis within the team and in the small Virginia town they played in. The two central Football players in this movie Gerry Bertier played by Ryan Hurst who is white and Julius Campbell, played by Wood Harris who is black are at the beginning of this movie bitter enemies, mostly because of race. At the end of this movie, they are as close as brothers and the transition from enemies to close friends is what makes this movie so great. The other thing that is great about this movie is Denzel Washington, in arguably his greatest role as the Football coach. His speeches about “perfection” and relating Football to the civil war and reminding all of his players just how hard it is to be the best Football team, with drill after drill getting his players in supreme shape so they are in better shape than all the other players they will face in the season was inspirational. Football is hard and there is only one way to be the best, hard work and this message comes through the many scenes of practice and training during this film. The actress who almost stole the movie was Hayden Panetteire, who at the time this movie was shot, was only 10 years old. She played a young girl who was obsessed and very knowledgeable about Football and her performance was very memorable in this film. One could argue that Hayden never got a movie role this good ever again in her career, which could also be said for most of the other actors who played Football players. Ryan Gossling and Kate Bosworth are also in this film which came out in 2000 in the early stages of their careers. Both of them went on to make many more quality movies.
I highly recommend this movie, which is in my opinion, one of the best sports movies ever produced.