Best of Times [1986]

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Robin Williams, Kurt Russell, Pamela Reed, Holly Palance, Donald Moffat
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sport
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 104 minutes

This shaggy-dog fable barely drew fleas when it arrived in the winter of 1986. Now critics refer to it as a winning, offbeat classic. What took 'em so long? Probably the fact that director Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies) and screenwriter Ron Shelton (Bull Durham) were chasing something very elusive: a cockeyed, scatological look at delayed glory. Robin Williams plays Jack Dundee, a meek bank VP in Taft, California, who daily relives the humiliation of a bobbled pass in the game against Bakersfield. Not content to live out his days as "Butterfingers" Dundee, Jack hits on a plan to "rewrite history" by restaging the Big Game. Taft's now-over-the-hill quarterback, Reno Hightower (Kurt Russell), reluctantly goes along with the harebrained scheme to redeem his buddy. The guys' wives (Holly Palance and Pamela Reed) shake their heads and play along. At once zany, sweet, and nostalgic, this small-town chronicle strives for, and achieves, folk-legend status. "Casey at the Bat" in shoulder pads, anyone? --Glenn Lovell

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