Even though it appears that there won’t be much of an NBA season this year, at least college basketball isn’t going to let us down. Games will be played and madness will ensue in the spring. But before then, a scrimmage match graces the multiplexes featuring the inaugural season of the women’s national college tournament, way back in the early 1970s with an underdog for the ages: Immaculata College in Pennsylvania, hobbling along on its last legs in order to attract a buyer, someone to provide enough cash for the nuns to settle and the few students to relocate to greener educational pastures.
Enter Cathy Rush (Carla Gugino), wife of an NBA referee (David Boreanaz) with time on her hands and the dream of coaching a basketball team, even if she has to do it for free. The Mother Superior (Ellen Burstyn) grumbles and grants Rush’s wish, and with the help of feisty Sister Sunday (Mary Shelton), the Mighty Macs go on an improbable streak that alters the course of a program and the university.
Nothing about the story really feels organic and competently structured, but as it passes from moment to moment, the movie begins to score a few sentimental baskets and maybe it even starts to believe in itself enough to win a few hearts. The Mighty Macs is a television movie court of dreams that simply isn’t big enough to run with the big boys and girls in theaters. But it’s definitely not a quitter. Grade: C+
Opens Oct. 21. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.