3 June 2007 | Sylviastel
Everybody Should See Gracie!
Gracie is a great, family film. Gracie is played beautifully by Carly Shroeder as a girl surround by three soccer-playing brothers, Johnny, Mike, and Dan. The film opens as her brother has her kick a soccer ball barefoot to hit an empty bottle on top of the car. This film is set in South Orange, New Jersey in 1978 and is inspired by the events of the Shue family. Elisabeth Shue plays the mom and school nurse at Columbia High School in South Orange which does exist and whose alumni includes the Shues and Zach Braff. South Orange is also an upscale suburb of New York City and Newark, New Jersey. At the time of the movie set in 1978, an average dual income working class couple with four children could live comfortably there. South Orange has become an upscale white collar community ever since 1978 to feature celebrity residents like Kelly Bishop and Andre Braugher. Also, South Orange is home to Seton Hall University. The film was filmed on location around New Jersey including Maplewood where we see Gracie running on a downtown street. It was a family affair in the filming process including Elisabeth Shue not only as an actress but as an executive producer along with her husband and director, Davis Guggenheim. Her brother Andrew Shue plays an assistant soccer coach and history teacher. In real life, Andrew played soccer too. Dermot Mulroney is terrific as the father, coach, and moving man in his profession. At first, the family has a star, Johnny Bowen, but tragedy strikes the family. We see Gracie rebelling against her parents who are already heartbroken with despair over their loss as well. The two younger brothers seem unaffected at least in the movie. Gracie has one best female friend who is afraid of being labeled a lesbian because of her association with Grace. She decides one night to take her brother's spot on the team much to her father's laugh. She is serious but rather than prepare and strive. She rebels, dates a boy, fails history, and plays hooky at Asbury Park with a college boy. Until her father decides that he will coach her to get on the team, there are difficulties since she is a girl but she is determined and the film is not entirely predictable. It is a family oriented. It's just in time for Father's Day! The film is somewhat believable and realistic at times. They do their best to maintain the authenticity of the time and playing Bruce Springsteen songs as well. I admire the Shues for their determination in making the film entirely on location in New Jersey keeping with their roots. Stay until the end of the credits, you will be interested to see what it has to say. I like this film overall and it's message is that a girl can do it too.