Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as
an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25
years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach.
Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration
for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game
winning streak in 1974."
more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach.
Click the Book to read
the players telling their stories in their own words. This is the book
that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.
Click the book to read the first chapter and for
The Proposal (6/10)
by Tony Medley
Runtime 104 minutes.
OK for children.
This story of a shrewish female boss falling
for her employee has been made and remade so many times I’d rather not
count. It was released earlier this year as “New in Town” with Renée
Zellweger and Harry Connick, Jr. Instead of Zellweger and Connick, this
one has Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. What sets this apart is
Reynolds, who is an accomplished comedic actor, unlike the other three.
Reynolds, who had me rolling in the aisles in “Chaos Theory” (2007), is
the light comedian that George Clooney would like to be, a truly funny
Reynolds takes a pretty good script by Peter
Chiarelli and makes this into something that’s better than the sum of
its parts. Chiarelli and director Anne Fletcher have a slice of life
start that dooms so many films at the outset because they just aren’t a
slice of real life. They generally contain dialogue and situations that
filmmakers think snappy, but which are instead silly. On the contrary,
this start pictures Editor Margaret Tate (Bullock) as a Linda Wachner-type
of vicious boss. While this start might not be completely realistic, it
is entertaining and passes the verisimilitude test, as most don’t.
Andrew Paxton (Reynolds) is her assistant but she is about to be fired
because she’s Canadian and is threatened with deportation. To solve the
problem she orders Andrew to marry her, much to his dismay.
Just because this story has been made into
movies over and over again doesn’t mean that it’s not entertaining.
During the first 50 minutes when Reynolds controls the relationship it
lives up to its promise. But when they start to fall in love, the movie
stumbles and falls because there isn’t one iota of chemistry between
Bullock and Reynolds, so the film sinks into an ending of terminal
derivativity. Bullock must have realized that she isn’t cut out for
romantic comedies because she said she originally rejected the script
because she didn’t want to play in a romantic comedy. She should have
gone with her first instinct.
There’s a good supporting cast with Mary
Steenburgen playing Andrew’s mother, Grace, Craig T. Nelson playing his
crusty father, Joe, and Betty White as his Grandma Annie. But the best
of the supporters is Denis O’Hare as Mr. Gilbertson who is trying
mightily to deport Margaret and follows her all the way to Andrew’s
family home in Alaska,
where most of the film takes place, to accomplish his purpose. I would
even consider him for a Best Supporting Actor nomination. The filmmakers
must not agree with me because O’Hare is not biographied in the
Production Notes, even though lesser characters are.
I can’t close this critique without objecting
to an ill-advised, distasteful scene with a male stripper, Ramone (Oscar
Nuñez). It’s completely out of place and character with Andrew’s family,
obviously inserted for shock value.
In the end, though, this derivative story has
been made into too many movies not to be stale.