DVD Review: McFarland, USA
Kevin Costner plays the role of Jim White, former high-school football coach in this feel good Disney true story. The film begins with White, frustrated at his teams abysmal performance, loosing his cool and taking it out on his star player. Cue getting sacked and being forced to move his family from Idaho to McFarland, in 1987.
How bad can McFarland be you ask yourself? Well for a white family (with the name White) who have asperations of getting signed to a ‘good’ school, this poor Latino town, whose existence relies on the ready availability of low wage fruit picking jobs, must seem like moving from The Gardens to Otara.
But for Coach White, things get even worse, because the only job he can get is an assistant coach job. Then after a run in with the coach, White gets demoted to being the athletics coach.
Things are not looking good for the Whites, until Jim sees one of his students running home. Cue lightbulb moment as Jim has aspirations of forming a team to take on the rich white sport of cross country, as essentially nothing more than his ticket to a better life.
McFarland, USA is predictable and at times cheesy, but it’s got plenty of heart and will leave you with a smile on your face. Cosnter relishes his role as Jim White giving the film a great anchor to build itself around. The film of course belongs to the motley crew of boys on his team, and the community spirit that rises to welcome the whites into their community.