Photo: ‘Fantasy Football’
Over the years, there have been some memorable comedic sports family movies in the 1990s which brought the attention of sports fans and families such as ‘Angels in the Outfield,’ ‘Space Jam,’ and ‘Air Bud.’ There is also a 2000s film ‘Like Mike’ in which Lil Bow Wow stars as an orphan who wears Michael Jordan’s shoes and is able to play basketball like him. However, there haven’t been a lot of sports movies that were blended with the fantasy genre. Studio companies were focusing more on realistic but suitable stories for families like ‘Bend it Like Beckham.’ The only sports fantasy movie that was heard of in the 2010s was Dwayne Johnson’s ‘The Tooth Fairy’ where he plays a hockey player that turns into a tooth fairy. However, in our COVID-stricken times, there has been the release of ‘Space Jam 2: A New Legacy,’ which stars LeBron James as the protagonist that is chosen to help the Looney Tunes.
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Now Lebron James and Maverick Carter’s names are attached to the fantasy sports movie ‘Fantasy Football,’ which will be released on Paramount+. It is supported by other company entities such as Nickelodeon, which caters to children’s shows and movies to its younger audiences. The video game company EA Sports is also behind it due to obvious reasons for the film’s video game usage. The National Football League is also an entity that supported the movie. The family sports fantasy movie is filled with an interesting African-American cast. What’s also interesting is the fact that the 18-year-old actress Marsai Martin even produced the family film by having Genius Productions on board. It’s also interesting to know that it is not the first time that Martin has had the experience of being a producer. She also executive produced her film ‘Little,’ which starred Regina King playing her older self while Marisa played the younger version. Issa Rae (from the hit show ‘Insecure’) also stars in the film. She was 14 years old at the time. I find this to be an impressive fact since the young actress has prior experience in producing a full-feature film.
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The Film’s Premise and Cast
‘Fantasy Football’ features ABC’s ‘Black-ish’ star Marsai Martin as Callie Coleman, the teenage daughter of a big-league football player, Bobby Coleman, who is played by Omari Hardwick. The executives made the decision of casting Omari since he himself was a defensive back at Georgia and was also an athlete for the San Diego Chargers. However, his character Bobby Coleman plays for the Atlanta Falcons. Even though Bobby has everything that a star athlete wants, such as fancy cars and a big house, he has been underperforming in his duties as a football player, which puts his career in jeopardy. He has been distant from his daughter and wife Keisha (played by Kelly Rowland). He neglects his family due to the fact that he spends most of his time getting better as a football player.
In addition, he has no backup plan of having a different job in case his career as a football player ends. Despite the fact that he is even getting backlash from his fellow football teammates, he is still persistent in making a comeback. After an argument with his daughter about purchasing the video game “Madden NFL 23,” both are struck by lightning which results in Callie discovering that she can magically control Bobby to be a better athlete on the football field. It’s not very long before the father discovers her daughter’s tactic of helping her father to make a surprising comeback. Even though Callie is doing a good job of revitalizing her father’s career, she also suffers from the pressures of keeping an average life as a student in her high school due to her father’s overnight success.
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The movie also features cameos of CBS broadcasters Jim Nantz and Tony Romo. Sports fans will appreciate the appearance of Tony Gonzalez (former Kansas City Chiefs football player) as the Falcon’s coach Lance Evans.
The film has an interesting message about a daughter who longs for her father’s attention. When Callie finds out that she was able to rescue Bobby’s career, they bond over the fact that the daughter can play her video game console while the father is out in the field as the star athlete. Despite the fact that success can have its wonderful highs, there are lows such as the father focusing on the attention that he is getting from all his teammates, friends, and other associates.
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What makes this film different from all the previous sports fantasy movies is the fact that it gives importance to family. The film’s tactics will always be a reminder of films such as ‘Click’ or ‘Jack Frost.’ They are not sports movies, but they deal with fathers who are focused on their career paths which results in them trying to rekindle their bond with their children. It’s been known that fathers are always trying to support their families with their prosperous careers and make sure that their loved ones are provided for.
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Throughout their endeavors, the fathers lose touch with their families and children because they are more attentive to their job occupations. The film does a good job of providing the message of how the family will always be there for you whenever things do not work out. Fame and fortune are not always what it seems to be either. Despite the story’s serious message, families will also enjoy the film’s humorous flair.
‘Fantasy Football’ has a wonderful cast and production team that involves LeBron James and his collaborator, agent, and long-time friend Maverick Carter. The film will have audiences entertained and their hearts will be touched. There have not been many sports fantasy movies that have been aired with the exception of ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy.’ This movie will be a great addition to the list of fantasy sports movies that will be watched by future generations. It will be streamed on Paramount+ on November 25th, 2022.
Directed by Anton Cropper
Written by Richard T. Jones, Jeremy Loethen, Tim Ogletree
Produced by LeBron James and Marsai Martin
Starring Marsai Martin, Omari Rome Flynn, Kelly Rowlan
By Marco Castaneda
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