Backwards (2012)

Sarah Megan Thomas, James Van Der Beek, Glenn Morshower, Margaret Colin,
When a fiercely competitive 30 year old rower fails to make the Olympic boat for the second time, she takes a coaching job at a school but struggles to adjust to life off the race course.
  • 5.5 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Ben Hickernell, Director:
  • Producer:

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2 / 10

521st Review: Rollocks....

I really love sports movies - who doesn't? - the struggle, the competition, the training, the lift, and drama with that is great too. But Backwards is well-named, it really does have the genre backwards - it is mostly a snooze fest. I've rowed a lot and it is gruelling, tough, and ridiculous when it comes to how fit you have to be - don't really get that from this - it's too placid, inactive, and, honestly, frankly dull.

I cannot recommend this on any level- the script is dull, the plot both clichéed and weak, but really it's the acting that lets this down most - neither lead has any charisma at all, they both just are there.

All in all, this is a film that had a good idea to make a sports movie about rowers, like Varsity Blues, but fails to translate that passion into the script or up to the screen.

10 / 10

not just a sports movie

I have never been a big sports film person, but this one is very exceptional. A wonderful feel good film not just about the sport, but about how sometimes what we think we want may not bring us the most joy.

There are fantastic performances. James Van Der Beek is so charming as usual, and so impressed with Sarah Megan Thomas, who wrote, produced and stars!

The whole supporting cast is excellent: the delightful Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche, Margaret Collin and the fantastic Glenn Morshower is awesome as the Olympic coach.

The film is beautiful to watch, the rowing sequences are breathtaking. Makes you want to row! Where can we see it? Is it doing festivals now? Hope this one is coming to a theater near all of us soon. Very soon!

10 / 10

Don't miss this one!

Being privileged to see this film before its release, I can't wait for the premiere.

Sarah Megan Thomas, (author, producer AND star), and James Van Der Beek give excellent performances. Glenn Morshower (nice to see him in something other than military garb), is wonderful as the Olympic Coach. The entire supporting cast did a great job.

Being a "Philly" native, I really enjoyed the portrayal of this beautiful city. The rowing sequences are amazing!

Exceptional work in the filming, acting and directing (Ben Hickernell).

The film gives insight into what it means to be part of a winning team, the good and the bad. You will love it whether or not you are into rowing. It's a great story.

This is one not to be missed!

10 / 10

A wonderful family film with an important message.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. The photography is beautiful and the story is a slice of life I've never seen depicted in a movie before. I've seen lots of movies about athletes coming to terms with real life, but not about the sport of crew. The rowing scenes are worth the price of admission, and all of the rowers are are beautiful to watch. As far as the characters go, the relationship between Abby and her mom started off very realistically and I wish the tension had continued because their story line seemed to drop off with no real resolution. Alysia Reiner is great as Abby's old friend, and I would have liked to see more of her. It's nice to see a movie where there is no gratuitous nudity or sex scenes.

10 / 10

An entertaining and touching sports romance

Backwards is a charming, upbeat story with heart and substance. Whether you're a sports aficionado, a fan of romantic comedy or a devotee of James Van Der Beek, you'll find something to love. Plus, it is just so refreshing to see such a solid female cast - led by the talented Sarah Megan Thomas in her big screen debut.

Backwards is "Bend it Like Beckham" for rowing. It brings excitement and dramatic tension to the often unappreciated rigors of this sport. After watching the exquisitely filmed racing scenes I now have a much deeper appreciation of the passion and commitment rowing inspires for so many young athletes. Coming so soon after the Olympics, this film reminds us of the sacrifices behind athletic accomplishment and the rewards of true sportsmanship.

The sports theme is only one of several draws. Abi and Geoff (Thomas and Van Der Beek) have great charisma in the movie. The coaching scenes between Abi and "her girls" bring you back to high school and the relationships there formed. Some of the best scenes put in stark relief how competition can strain even the strongest of friendships - and how teamwork can overcome even major setbacks.

Do see this movie. You'll laugh and maybe you'll cry, but mostly you'll leave feeling just a little bit better about life.