Film Scouts Reviews

"Celtic Pride"

by Karen Jaehne

Buy this video from
April 21, 1996

Directed by Tom De Cerchio. Screenplay by Judd Apatow, based on a story by Apatow and Colin Quinn. Cinematography by Oliver Wood. Basketball Coordinator, Kevin Benton. Boston Celtics liaison, Wayne Le Beaux.

Starring Damon Wayans (Lewis Scott), Daniel Stern (Mike O'Hara), Dan Aykroyd (Jimmy Flaherty), Gail O'Grady (Carol O'Hara).

This movie reminds me of my high school coach, who used to get up in pep rallies and yell, "How many people are on this basketball team!?" "We're all on your team!" we would yell back. We didn't notice the players squirming, but it did make us feel obligated to go to all the ball games.

Fans are built on that principle, and "Celtic Pride" is about fans, not basketball. The good news is that it's about as long as a basketball game and it works in the same way: you watch the two sides score jokes against each other until the score is so high, you lose count and just wait for that last arc into the basket and the buzzer.

The plot is exactly what the cut-line says it is: if you can't beat him, steal him. Two Celtics fans are so afraid of losing to superstar Damon Wayans' team that they kidnap Wayans, and the rest is improv. It's a movie made for teenage boys and unrepentant sports fans. Damon Wayans is the best reason for watching it, what with his sense of self-parody. He walks through his role in order to be in a movie with cameos by major ballplayers - Larry Bird and Deion Sanders, even announcer Bob Cousy!

Danny Stern is too good an actor to be in a fluff movie like this; he keeps trying to act. Dan Aykroyd as the ultimate nerd fan, collecting sports memorabilia like dirty laundry, plays it all like an extended "Saturday Night Live" skit. Which it could be. But it belies the word Pride in the title by making these fans too pathetic.

This is DeCerchio's directorial debut of anything but commercials. The one thing he truly accomplished here: this is no commercial for the Celtics. You don't have to be from Boston to know the wearing of the green deserves better.

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