UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds
Courtesy of Mulmur Feed Co.

Score: A Hockey Musical

Song-and-dance movie takes a shot at our national pastime

By Patricia Ingold

Score: A Hockey Musical
Directed by Michael McGowan
(Mulmur Feed Co.)


A song-and-dance film about Canada’s national sport may sound like a recipe for disaster, but Score: A Hockey Musical succeeds because it’s not afraid to throw away the rule book. Score doesn’t care if many among its cast can neither sing nor dance. Because the actors perform their songs live with unabashed enthusiasm, they make the film a fresh, spontaneous experience.

Wearing its Canadian heart on its sleeve, Score also makes no apologies for its idealistic vision. The film has small-town ambience, hockey players with heart and two young leads who radiate goodness.  

Scouted while playing a round of neighbourhood shinny, hockey prodigy Farley Gordon (Noah Reid) joins the Brampton Blades, achieving instant success. His new fame threatens his relationship with his best friend, Eve, however, and his flaky parents (played by singer Olivia Newton-John and songwriter Marc Jordan) offer little support. Fearing hockey will turn their home-schooled son into an “ordinary boy,” they urge him to quit the team.

Farley’s biggest roadblock, though, is the bench brawl. Raised a pacifist, Farley refuses to fight, a stance that doesn’t go down well with the Blades. Quitting is not an option, however; rather than brawn, he must find a new way. Here is where cynics will note that Farley’s non-violent solution, resulting in the humiliation of his opponent, is arguably as objectionable as fighting.

To be fair, it’s hard to dislike Score. The film is fast-moving and funny, thanks to clever lyrics by director Michael McGowan. Among its many highlights is a Broadway-style production number in the team dressing room, complete with flat notes and awkward dance steps. And there are many cameos throughout: Walter Gretzky offers advice on how to be a good hockey parent, tenor John McDermott performs the national anthem and NHL veteran Theoren Fleury reassures Farley in an outstanding singing turn.

Never about winning or losing, Score is about staying true to oneself, and the film does a great job of communicating the message. Its catchy final song, The Greatest Game, could very well become an arena standard.

Patricia Ingold is a member of The Observer staff in Toronto.


Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!

Announcement

New Observer editor and CEO, Jocelyn Bell. Photo by Lindsay Palmer

New editor named

by Observer Staff

Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

A perfect send-off

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

by Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

Promotional Image

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

by Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

November 2017

Grey matter

by Trisha Elliott

Is consciousness just a function of the brain — or something more?

Promotional Image