(2010, directed by: James C. Strouse, written by: James C. Strouse, starring: Sam Rockwell and Emma Roberts)
(Available now on DVD)
The same sports story, but done with quality dramatic and comedic elements.
At least "The Winning Season" knows that the whole down-on-his-luck coach and group of misfit girls basketball team who learn about life and winning together type of story has been done before. They did unfortunately follow the exact same formula, but with a hint of whimsy and self-awareness, it's above average for the genre.
Emma Roberts and the other girls comprising the team actually come across as real teenage girls. I found them cute and funny. As a big fan of Sam Rockwell, he seems to be the reason why this film is pretty good. He's basically a drunken asshole, very unlikable, but he completely draws you in so there's a real emotional connection for the dramatic elements. And as he has demonstrated before, his physical comedy antics are perfect making the comedy scenes pretty funny.
"The Winning Season" has been done many times before, but here they managed to do it without being cheesy, while providing quality scenes of drama and comedy. If you like the genre, it is certainly worth a look.
This film is on my best unknown films of 2010 list - explore The 20 Best Over-Looked Films in 2010