A few days ago, I came across the Sean William Scott comedy Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach while browsing movies on Netflix. It didn’t have a high rating from other viewers but it did sound somewhat interesting so, when I had the TV to myself this weekend and couldn’t find anything else on, I decided to watch it.
It turns out there was a reason why it got such low scores but, at the same time, it was a movie that ended up exceeding my expectations a bit.
Scott stars as Gary, a former tennis player who gives up the sport to become a high school custodian. Even though he says he does not want to even think about a game that has brought him nothing but disappointment, he finds new love for it when he is given a chance to be the assistant coach for the school’s tennis team. And, when the coach (played by Randy Quaid) dies, he makes a promise to deliver a state championship.
The movie had a few of your typical sports clichés but, overall, the plot wasn’t terrible. Gary is crude and uses some pretty unusual methods that make the new head coach cringe but does help the team improve while developing a bit of confidence himself. Based on that, I think this movie would normally get a high score from me.
What ends up hurting this film is the numerous crude and sometimes raunchy jokes and language that pop up non-stop throughout the movie. This includes everything from a little girl (not much older than my daughter) talking about being pregnant and needing an abortion to jokes about sex with midgets and Scott running onto the tennis court wearing nothing but a jock strap.
Normally, I can tolerate comedy like this but, like most mature people, have limitations. And, that line got crossed a bit both when he ends up making out with a teenaged girl and hires a stripper to give one of his high school boys a lap dance (to make him a man). There really was no need for stuff like that; mostly because it had nothing to do with the actual plot.
Final Opinion: As I said before, the movie was a bit of a surprise for me and probably would have been pretty decent if the writers would have cut some of the cruder stuff out.
Average Netflix Grade: 2.2 stars out of a possible 5.
My Grade: 2 stars.