1 July 2009 | copper1963
Bowling for dollars and sense.
Sleeper. "Dreamer" Tim Matheson, an actor I've always liked, is obsessed with exiting--even a ripped open hunk of flesh and a blood soaked bandage is little obstacle--the lower ranks of minor league bowling, and earning his pot-of-gold: his name on a P.B.A. card. Susan Blakely, an actress I've always liked, scores a three-strike turkey as Dreamer's pushy love interest. Old reliable Jack Warden is Matheson's surrogate father, a man who's own gargantuan-sized bag of dreams rivals those of Dreamer. A gaggle of goofy locals hang out at Warden's glitzy bowling emporium, a cheery place where no one is turned away. Comfy. Dreamer's route to stardom is cluttered along the way with squabbles with Blakely, unscrupulous P.B.A. executives and a past opponent with a vendetta. Real-life professional bowler Nelson Burton, Jr. and ABC commentator Chris Schenkel provide much needed color and authenticity. The tournament final is filmed in a crisp and clean style. A couple of promising scenes begin well but fall flat, otherwise the movie unwinds a refreshing look at a slice of life usually not projected on to the big screen. The kind of "little" film that Hollywood has, sadly, almost abandoned.