A coming-of-age drama that centers on a young quarterback from West Texas, a priest in New York, and the two women in their lives.A coming-of-age drama that centers on a young quarterback from West Texas, a priest in New York, and the two women in their lives.A coming-of-age drama that centers on a young quarterback from West Texas, a priest in New York, and the two women in their lives.
America Brown aka Ricky Brown (Ryan Kwanten) is a high school senior who happens to be a football star in his tiny West Texas town where Bo (Leo Burmester) and Coach (Frankie Faison) have pinned there efforts to break into the big time in football if Ricky fulfills his expectations. Ricky lives with his beautician mother (Karen Black) whose strident husband is dead and whose oldest son Daniel (Michael Rapaport) recently died from a heart attack. Ricky needs to breathe and escapes to Brooklyn where he traces down his personal hero, former football Texas star John Cross (Hill Harper) who has become a Catholic priest but has secrets of his own. John takes in Ricky, and Ricky begins to discover the world outside of Texas, loses his virginity to a diner waitress Vera (Natasha Lyonne) and befriends Rosie (Élodie Bouchez), whose attachment to John Cross seems to have some undercurrents. Ricky is all innocence and beautiful youth as he walks the streets of New York in his jeans, cowboy clothes and Stetson - reminiscent of Midnight Cowboy. But as his mind is exposed to the world outside Texas and football he comes to grips with a recurring unbearable nightmare: he feels responsible for his brother Daniel's death. Ricky ultimately returns to his hometown, to his loving mother, and to football, faces his demons, and learns the meaning of becoming a man.
Young Australian actor Ryan Kwanten, complete with authentic Texan twang, creates a character impossible not to love. His mixture of optimism, naiveté, and inner torture is a fine portrayal of a gifted sportsman challenging what his world expects of him. The remainder of the cast is likewise very fine. London born, Canadian writer/director Paul Black gifts us with his first feature film here and he seems to have all of the makings of a truly fine artist. Watch for his future work! Recommended. Grady Harp
- Nov 14, 2005