There's Only One Jimmy Grimble Directed by John Hay (III): a jpoc movie review
Young teen's feel good movie.
I watched this movie on rented vhs tape with my two boys in England on New Years day 2002.
Six out of ten.
the jpoc review
Jimmy Grimble is a Manchester lad, keen on football, who supports Manchester City, the town´s second club which is generally in the shadow the much more successful Manchester United. He lives with his mother who wants, but cannot find, a long term relationship and at school, he is constantly picked upon and bullied by the dominant, Manchester United supporting group.
His love of football is strong enough that he ignores the bullies and finally manages to wangle himself a place on the school team. Initially, he is a substitute but he gains a regular place in the team when he scores a lucky goal and gains confidence through a pair of "lucky" boots.
His nemesis in the team, "Gorgeous" Gordon Burley is the leader of the bullies and he will stop at nothing to do Jimmy down. Gordon's father is on the school board of govenors and has high hopes for his son's future in professional football.
The team enters the Manchester schools cup. Gordon wants the girls and to be picked by the Manchester United talent scouts who follow the competition. Gordon's father wants fortune for his son and offers to pay for a new sports pavillion for the school if they reach the final of the cup.
The film revolves around a number of questions.
Will the team reach or even win the final of the schools cup?
Will Jimmy defeat the bullies who want to stop him from succeeding in the team?
Will Jimmy´s mother ditch Colin, her current, rather lame boyfriend?
Will she get back together with Harry, the ex-boyfriend who is the only man in her past that Jimmy liked?
Will we get to the bottom of the mysterious past of Eric Wirral, the school's soccer coach?
What is the story behind Jimmy's magic boots?
Will Jimmy sort out his relationship with Sara, the girl who has won his affection?
Of course, as a young teenager's feelgood movie, you can be assured that the film will deliver the "right" answers to all of those questions but it does a good job in delivering them without insulting the viewer's intelligence.
The film hits its chosen spot with accuracy. It is not so overpoweringly sweet that it is an embarrassment but it does not deliver so much bad news that it will discourage younger viewers.
Robert Carlyle as the Soccer coach and Lewis McKenzie as Jimmy anchor the film. Carlyle has a harder role here than as the irrepressible Gaz in "The Full Monty" and he rises to the part. The other adult actors perform creditably but none are called upon to be particularly special and John Henshaw and Samia Ghadie as Jimmy´s worst enemy and love interest are the only others to impress. There is a cameo appearance by Jane Lapotaire as the derelict who gives Jimmy his lucky boots but she does not have a role that demands any of her talents.
As a film for young to mid teens, it is a success and seen as that it is a good film and an agreeable way for a family to spend an hour and a half. It's not a "Billy Elliot" or a "Whistle Down the Wind" but it does deliver what it sets out to do.
With its working class English setting and its concentration on soccer, this movie will not play well to North American audiences.