What began in 1968 allowed individuals with intellectual disabilities to have the chance to play athletics and be a part of the greatest sporting event on earth, the Olympics. One of the most popular and favorite sports in the Special Olympics is basketball. These extraordinary players learn a lot about sportsmanship and friendship, and also have lots of fun. When Marcus (Woody Harrelson) is kicked out of professional basketball for pushing head coach Phil Perretti (Ernie Hudson) and gets arrested for DUI, he is assigned by the judge to coach a Special Olympics team called the Friends. This group of special needs players who play basketball at the local church are unorganized and not ready to compete against the rest of the teams. When Marcus finally arrives to meet the Friends, a bunch of fun-loving characters like Johnny (Kevin Lannucci), Darius (Joshua Felder), Cody (Ashton Gunning), Cosentino (Madison Tevlin), Craig (Matthew Von Der Ahe), Blair (Tom Sinclair), Benny (James Day Keith), Arthur (Alex Hintz), Marlon (Casey Metcalfe), and Showtime (Bradley Edens), he realizes these guys need a lot of help and instruction to finally win a game. With help from program director, Julio (Cheech Marin), assistant coach and friend Sonny (Matt Cook), and new-found friend Alex (Kaitlin Olson), he finds that these new-found team members will win his heart.
Director Bobby Farrelly puts together a hilariously entertaining story that has these joyful, affectionate characters go from rags to riches. Farrelly ties in a great storyline with the challenges these citizens with special needs endure everyday. He places everyone in a great setting that makes the events believable and develops a heartwarming celebration for these loveable and upbeat citizens. The performances and great personalities of the cast were outstanding and brought this narrative to life. This fun-loving film brings fun and entertaining characters to life along with a tale that includes an event that challenges our new heroes. Showing what trials and tribulations they all endure will bring you on a rollercoaster ride of pure fun.
I based my grade on spectacular performances by the cast and a fantastic storyline.