For Freddie Steinmark (Finn Wittrock), football is life. He started playing when he was young. His dad (Michael Reilly Burke) pushes him hard to make sure he is the best he can be. Since he is smaller than most football players, he has to try much harder. Freddie’s hard work pays off. He is one of the best high school football players in Colorado. His dream is to play college football at the University of Colorado, then play professionally for the Bears.
Despite his talent for the game, all the colleges he applied to refuse to offer him a scholarship because of his size. Fortunately for Freddie, Darrell Royal (Aaron Eckhart) from the University of Texas has watched game tapes of Freddie playing. He offers Freddie and his best friend Bobby (Rett Terrell) full scholarships to play for his team.
Practice for the team is grueling. It is meant not only to get the team ready for games, but to weed out those who can’t handle it. Freddie barely breaks a sweat, showing everyone how much talent and love he has for the game. With Freddie on the team, and Royal’s new “triple option” offense, the Longhorns have a chance to break out of their slump and become national champions.
My All American is based on the true story of Freddie Steinmark, who helped the 1969 Texas Longhorns win the national championship.
The film has a very Rudy like feel. Not surprising, considering Rudy‘s writer also wrote My All American. It focuses on a young man who, despite not fitting the typical football player mold, winds up making a name for himself thanks to his passion and tenacity both on and off the field.
Finn Wittrock definitely looks the part of the late 60’s All American. HE’s got the clean look, and all the charm and charisma you would expect. You can feel the chemistry between his character and Sarah Bolger’s Linda, his high school sweetheart. both do really well in the film. The rest of the ensemble really adds to the film’s authentic feel. Sure, some of it is undoubtedly exaggerated, but that can easily be overlooked.
If I had to find fault in the film, it would be a minor one. The film actually takes place in 2010, as Coach Royal retells the story in an interview. Since the scenes where he is being interviewed take place 40 years after the events in the film, Aaron Eckhart had to be aged appropriately. While I know it is no easy feat to age someone 40 years, his makeup comes off a bit costume-ish. Again, a minor issue that can be forgiven.
Without giving too much away, My All American is not only inspiring, but also “has all the feels,” as the kids say. It is an emotional tale of dedication and perseverance. If you’re looking for a feel-good film, this is definitely a good choice.