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!
Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

If statues could talk

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: Stolen Mother

by Observer Staff

The daughter and adoptive mother of one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women share their story

Promotional Image

Society

July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots

World

June 2017

A suitcase for Cuba

by Christopher Levan

You’ll find more than giveaway toiletries and hand-me-downs in the writer's luggage. Each carefully chosen gift offers a glimpse into the lives of Cubans today.

Justice

June 2017

Undocumented

by Kristy Woudstra

Up to half a million people are living in Canada without official status. The ‘sanctuary city’ movement is growing, but the fear of deportation persists.

World

June 2017

Resisting genocide

by Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.

Society

April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart

Society

March 2017

Called to resist

by Paul Wilson

Liberal Christians in the United States test their faith against a demagogue

Promotional Image