Still We Believe: The Boston Red Sox Movie (USA)


directed by: Paul Doyle Jr.

documentary

Still We Believe: The Boston Red Sox Movie
 
Rob N. says: "There is a moment in BACK TO THE FUTURE II (1989) when Charles Fleischer says to an incredulous, time traveling Michael J. Fox, who has recently arrived in 2015 and just read (on a holographic billboard) of a miraculous Chicago Cubs World Series victory, 'I wish I could go back to the beginning of the season and put some money on the Cubbies.' The fact that the Boston Red Sox have not won a World Series since 1918 might prove hands-down that time travel is not possible, otherwise, by now, someone would have prevented George Steinbrenner's parents from conceiving him or sited a garbage dump where Yankee Stadium stands. Still, close to a century of losing has not deterred the likes of the eight super-fans profiled in the engaging documentary, STILL, WE BELIEVE: THE BOSTON RED SOX MOVIE [PG].

Originally, director and Emmy winner Paul Doyle set out (with unprecedented access) to clinically dissect the 2003 season, unaware of the nail-biting championship run the season would be. He was also unaware from whence would come the *real* drama and the *real* struggle -- the fans. Once he realized this, he wisely set out to cast this ultimately colorful bunch of masochists.

Hilariously opinionated WEEI radio regular Paul 'Angry Bill' Constine comes off as the most quotable (and funniest), and Fenway fixtures/Boston chicks extraordinaire Jessamy Finet and Erin Nanstad perfectly typify the all-weather hopeful. The inclusion of California transplant Jim Connors, who proudly operates Santa Monica's Boston sports bar Sonny McLean's, is a nice touch, but the most touching fan tale is that of Dan Cummings, the Hyde Park native who was paralyzed from the chest down in a boating accident. His brass ring quest to walk again is inspiring, though it would seem that New England sports fans used up their collective synchronicity credit by winning two Superbowls with a kick in the final seconds.

It seems best that Doyle shifted the focus onto the fans, because while the behind-the- scenes footage does provide context and counterbalance, it is fairly mundane stuff. Predictably, first baseman Kevin Millar is the chattiest and most colorful of the bunch, and, as we expect, elusive superstars Pedro Martinez and Nomar Garciaparra barely register. Despite being a celebrated wunderkind, GM Theo Epstein is criminally boring on camera, so perhaps it was out of necessity that Doyle shifted his focus toward the comparatively dynamic battalion of the faithful. They not only make for some innately entertaining comedy and tragedy, but they demonstrate -- and please forgive the waxing grandiose here -- the grand struggle that is this human life. Besides, as Angry Bill so aptly puts it, 'If they won, I wouldn't know what to do.' Score: 3.5 cats"