Farley Gordon is elevated. This film is not.
Score: A Hockey Musical
The thing you have to ask yourself if you’re going to go see Score: A Hockey Musical open TIFF is this: What are you expecting a made-in-Canada musical about hockey to look like? No, really. Think about it for a second. Do you have an idea in your head? If you’ve thought about it for more than about 15 seconds, you’ve probably dreamed up a reasonable semblance of Michael McGowan’s multi-million dollar flick. It’s not too hard to do.
You take a sports movie plotline (of the ilk of Rookie of the Year), add an extremely Canadian conflict (the wunderkind on skates, Farley Gordon, was raised by hippie parents, and the on-ice fighting offends his pacifist sensibilities). Throw in a girl next door, some kitschy songs (“Hockey without fighting is like Kraft Dinner without cheese / It’s still pasta, but the palette it won’t please”), some (Canadian) celebrity cameos, and you’ve got the gist of the thing. This is a movie that is incredibly easy. Easy to imagine, easy to watch, and easy to forget. Everyone will have their hockey socks in knots over whether this ought to have been the TIFF opener, and Rick Groen over at the Globe has the debate’s meaning more or less nailed. You should read what he has to say, and then after that, either see Score or don’t: it’s all the same either way. (The rhyming is contagious.)
Want more TIFF 2010? Torontoist’s complete coverage of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival is all right here.