Ross Family Movie Challenge: 'Hoosiers' vs. 'Big'
Every week EW’s Dalton Ross and his wife, writer Christina Kelly, have a…um, lively discussion about what movie they should watch with their two children (Dale, 12, and Violet, 9) that weekend. Now they make their cases publicly and you get to vote on the choices and decide how the Ross family will be spending part of their weekend. The power is in your hands, people. Last week, Christina’s pick of Searching for Bobby Fischer was left searching for more votes, as it fell to Dalton’s choice of Groundhog Day. Read on and then vote for which movie they should watch this week.
Dalton’s Pick: Hoosiers (1986)
Now that the children have been exposed to the underdog sports movie genre courtesy of Rocky and Rudy, it’s time to step up my game with an entry that does not begin with the letter R. Destination: Hickory, Indiana. That’s right, it’s time for Hoosiers. There are numerous reasons to show the kids Hoosiers. I think you will find them all irrefutable.
1. The story of a tiny school with a crappy basketball team overcoming overwhelming odds to go on and win the state championship is a feel good slam dunk.
2. Hoosiers also happens to feature an excellent “slow clap” scene, where one person begins a methodical, tortoise-paced slapping of hands until everyone else joins in and whips themselves into an absurd frenzy. There is no greater moment in cinema than a rock-solid slow clap.
3. My son’s name is Dale. Gene Hackman plays coach Norman Dale. True, Hoosiers Dale can be a ruthless bastard at times, but he’s full of pluck and can do spirit!
4. My Dale has recently become obsessed with basketball. Better for him to watch a bunch of kids playing together even though their outlook appears bleak (and succeeding as a result) rather than having to endure prima donnas forming super-teams in the desperate attempt to take the easy way out and collect championships rather than earning them. (Hi, Lebron!).
5. Violet may not be as passionate about basketball as her brother, but the heaping helping of old school black Converse high-tops being worn will no doubt appeal to the fashionista in her. There is also a more-than-fair chance she will find town loner Jimmy Chitwood “dreamy.”
6. When it comes to Dennis Hooper films, better they see this than Blue Velvet.
Christina’s Pick: Big (1988)
I actually can’t believe our kids haven’t already seen this cute film, a staple of free outdoor movies, at least in our town. It is beloved by many, super-family friendly, devoid of anything annoying. For those living in a media-free zone, a quick summary: Starring Tom Hanks and directed by Penny Marshall, Big is about a 13-year-old boy who wakes up a grown man the morning after he wishes to be “big” at an old-fashioned fortune telling machine. The 13-year-old in an adult body finds success working at a toy company and falls in love with an adult woman before managing to be restored to his correct age.
And now we come to the real reason that I chose Big: it is the only movie I can think of that might stand up to Hoosiers. It is like the perfect vice-presidential candidate: appealing, inoffensive, ready to stick to the party line. Or something. I’m tired of losing, so I’m making desperate choices. I’m pandering to the voters. I’m losing focus on my core beliefs.