Here are my top five favorite films that brilliantly meld the romance with the sportsball.
The Cutting Edge: I recently rewatched this movie, and it is bad. The Cutting Edge is not a good film, friends. It’s basically one giant montage with a few kissing scenes spliced in. Not that I’m complaining! For me, this movie is pure nostalgia and wish fulfillment. As a kid, I used to dream about being an Olympic figure skater, even though I can barely skate. And, during one of the Winter Olympics in the early ‘90s (I think; I could be making this up), there was an ad where a figure skater challenged a really hot hockey player to a shootout. I don’t know. That’s how I remember it. There’s just something about guys in hockey sweaters wooing girls in fancy skating costumes.
Just Wright: Queen Latifah is gorgeous and adorable in this movie as a physical therapist for a pro-basketball player (Common, not so bad himself). Again, this is not the “greatest” movie on the planet, but the leads are so likable, you’ll find yourself grinning throughout the entire runtime.
Match Point: I know, I know, Woody Allen. But if you forget that he’s the one behind this movie (easy to do; this is so unlike his other films), I’m sure you’ll love it. It’s not a feel good, happily-ever-after romance at all, but it’s exciting and tense and sexy and full of tennis, which I couldn’t care less about in real life, but enjoy watching on the big screen for some reason. (This movie features Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who appears in two of my top five sports romances. He’s the low-key MVP of this genre, apparently.)
Jerry Maguire: There are people who hate Jerry Maguire. Those people are wrong. This movie does sports well and romance well. Heck, it even does precocious little kids well. Tom Cruise was at his peak here. I wish he’d quit it with the whole “hanging off buildings” thing and go back to his dramedy roots. I need more of this Tom Cruise on my screen.
Bend it Like Beckham: Jonathan Rhys Meyers (hi, again!) is cute and all, but this movie is really all about the womance between Jess and Jules. I rewatched this film a few months ago, and it gets a little dicey with the homophobia. If this movie had been made today, I think it would’ve ended up with a much more inclusive feel to it—and might have given us an actual romance between Jess and Jules.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Danny Garland is so out of Holly’s league. And her family is only back in North Pole, Minnesota, long enough to sell Grandma’s house and say “Merry Christmas.” So telling her basketball-star, too-hot-to-be-real long-time crush that she’d like to kiss him under the mistletoe just isn’t going to happen.
And now he’s asked out her cousin, Elda. Elda is a mess at flirting, so when she begs Holly to intervene, she does. Holly helps her flirt with him over text. And then again. And again. Now she’s stuck texting him as her cousin, and Elda is the one going on the date. Holly thought she could settle for just conversation with Danny, but talking with him is some kind of magic. He’s got the perfect comebacks, she makes him laugh, they text until everyone is asleep.
She just can’t ever tell him it’s her he’s really texting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which will be published by Entangled Teen on June 7, 2016. Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.