RUDY:One of the most heartwarming tales ever committed to film, the true story of Daniel E. "Rudy" Ruettinger (Sean Astin, THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy) is an underdog drama that escapes--for the most part--the pitfalls of sentimentality. The film is set in 1960s Joliet, Illinois, where Rudy lives in a staunchly blue-collar steelworkers' community. Despite his obsession with Notre Dame and college football, Rudy goes to work in the mill alongside his father and brothers directly after his high-school graduation. It takes the accidental death of his best friend to inspire Rudy to pursue his dream of playing for Notre Dame. As everyone in his life is quick to point out, Rudy lacks the brains, brawn, and financial means to ever achieve his goal, but he sets out for South Bend just the same, enrolling in a junior college and trying out for the team as a walk-on. Eventually, Rudy becomes a member of the practice team, where he displays such strength of heart and fierceness of will that he touches and inspires all those around him, including the groundskeeper, Fortune (Charles Dutton), the tough-talking coach (Jason Miller), and even his nay saying father (Ned Beatty). Director David Anspaugh, who scored a previous hit with 1986's HOOSIERS, delivers an earnest sports film that concentrates on character and detail, with Sean Astin turning in a remarkably understated, subtle performance.
RADIO: Set in South Carolina and spanning almost 40 years time beginning in the 1960s, RADIO is the moving story of the friendship between a mentally disabled man known as Radio (played by Cuba Gooding Jr. in adulthood) and the high school football coach (Ed Harris) who gives him guidance, hope, and confidence. Growing up in the all-American small town of Anderson, South Carolina, Radio is a social outcast who lives a lonely, childish existence. He's obsessed with his transistor radio and wanders the streets with a shopping cart full of collected junk. Because of his mental disability, Radio is misunderstood by the local townspeople and is often the victim of mean-spirited pranks. After the local high school football team plays a particularly cruel joke on the naive young man, the team coach decides to mentor him. Coach Jones staunchly supports Radio and their bond becomes unbreakable. A devoted football fan, Radio blossoms under the unwavering encouragement of the Coach and becomes the team's unofficial mascot and cheerleader. Ultimately the town is united by Radio's innocence and basic human goodness in this warmhearted drama inspired by a true story.
JERRY MAGUIRE: Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise), a slick, high-living sports agent, is tired of the shallowness of his profession and wants to live a more fulfilling, ethical life. But Jerry's new outlook doesn't mesh with his agency's ethics, and he is promptly fired. Jerry finds himself left with one ally, one client, and a long road ahead of him. Along the way he finds something more important than money--love. Cruise, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Rene Zellweger turn in outstanding performances in this romantic comedy written and directed by Cameron Crowe (SAY ANYTHING, SINGLES).