Things have been pretty dull for some time in Elma, a small, run down town in rural Texas. But all that changes when Anna Montgomery (Olivia d’Abo) comes to town from England to teach in the elementary school. She decides the lackluster town needs a kid’s soccer team and proceeds to develop a rag-tag soccer team of boys and girls who hardly even know what a soccer ball looks like. She soon finds the willing coaching assistance of the local sheriff, Tom Palmer (Steve Guttenberg), who has his eyes on her anyway. Also, Anna has an ace in the hole, Juan Morales, one of her larger students who is already a skilled, experienced soccer player. The new team adopts a name, THE BIG GREEN, and with lots of hard work and patience, Anna and Tom inspire the team on to the Texas school soccer championship game. Needless to say, this is a rousing, suspenseful event, as they struggle against a much larger and more experienced team. In fact, at the screening we attended, the kids in the audience were just as excited as those in the movie. THE BIG GREEN gets off to a rather slow start, but picks up momentum as it progresses and proves to be a fun, enjoyable experience for both young and old alike.
Written by the same screenwriter who wrote ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD, THE BIG GREEN develops its fun and excitement without resorting to crude humor, sex or obscene language. There are a few mild and moderately rough words, but they are not enough to keep the film from being acceptable. And even though Anna and Tom are attracted to each other, they do not become involved in an affair. Also, Anna and Tom take a personal interest in each of their young players and help them become something very special. They even arrange for the mother of Juan Morales to remain in Texas and not be deported back to Mexico. The dads and mothers of the team are very supportive of their kids and the whole town rallies behind them. Even the negligent, alcoholic father of one of the girl team members comes to realize how much his daughter needs his love and attention. THE BIG GREEN is a feel good movie and it is encouraging to see such a quality film make its appearance in lieu of the usual degenerate fare so prevalent today.