Main cast: Denzel Washington (Coach Herman Boone), Will Patton (Coach Bill Yoast), Wood Harris (Julius Campbell), Ryan Hurst (Gerry Bertier), Donald Faison (Petey Jones), Ethan Suplee (Louie Lastik), Kip Pardue (Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass), Craig Kirkwood (Jerry “Rev” Harris), Nicole Ari Parker (Carol Boone), Krysten Leigh Jones (Nicky Boone), Inasia Brown (Karen Boone), Hayden Panettiere (Sheryl Yoast), Kate Bosworth (Emma Hoyt), Earl C Poitier (Darryl “Blue” Stanton), Ryan Gosling (Alan Bosley), Gregory Alan Williams (Coach Paul “Doc” Hines), Brett Rice (Coach Herb Tyrell), Burgess Jenkins (Ray Budds), and David Jefferson Jr (“Cook”)
Director: Boaz Yakin
Oh look, Jerry Bruckheimer produces a movie that, for once, doesn’t overblow its budget on lightings or special effects at the script’s expense. Remember the Titans is a feel-good movie set in the 1970s. Okay, so it is cheap, simplified feel-good fluff one could find in Chicken Soup books – temporary cheap respites one could go to to continue one’s denial that life can suck.
That’s okay. I want to believe life doesn’t suck too, and this movie makes me feel good, warm, and teary inside. The story is about what happens when two schools – one predominantly white in population, the other black – merge, and the white coach finds himself demoted to make way for the black coach. The players become polarized between black and white lines, but you bet at the end everyone call each other “Yo, my brothers!” and slap each other’s butt after the final touchdown.
Oh yes, it can be moving, like when there’s this scene where an unlikely friendship blooms between a white player and a black player that culminates with the latter standing by the sick bed of the former. Touching stuff, and I used up two sheets of tissue papers in the theatre.
Then, after I walked out of the theater, I realize I not only can’t recall the names of any freaking fellow in the movie, I can’t remember much why I was all teary-eyed either. Sentimental, undemanding, melodramatic stuff, that’s Remember the Titans, with nary a sophisticated attempt to overcome stereotypical storytelling. It’s fluff in the grand tradition of Oprah and Chicken Soup books, and we all love it for that, right?