Necessary Roughness

This gridiron comedy piles up cliches the way Notre Dame racks up yardage, with an option-variety screenplay that promiscuously pitches the story in multiple directions. Essentially, this is a football version of the equally contrived and only slightly less hokey baseball comedy Major League.

With:
Scott Bakula Hector Elizondo Robert Loggia Harley Jane Kozak Larry Miller Fred Dalton Thompson

This gridiron comedy piles up cliches the way Notre Dame racks up yardage, with an option-variety screenplay that promiscuously pitches the story in multiple directions. Essentially, this is a football version of the equally contrived and only slightly less hokey baseball comedy Major League.

Seemingly unable to settle on a single-wing hackneyed storyline, the filmmakers float at least three – a 34-year-old quarter-back seeks to belatedly claim his college glory days, a female kicker joins a football team and a team of ‘real’ students is assembled after a major college program is disbanded for recruiting violations – but basically settle on the former, with Scott Bakula carrying the ball.

The hurdles Bakula faces include wooing his attractive journalism prof (Harley Jane Kozak) and outwitting the priggish dean (Larry Miller), who’s intent on punting the football program off-campus once and for all.

Director Stan Dragoti, who doesn’t take the material too seriously, draws several procedure penalties for the horribly corny finale, slow-motion shots during the closing football game and for letting the air out of the ball with some long lulls in the action.

Necessary Roughness

Production: Paramount. Director Stan Dragoti; Producer Mace Neufeld, Robert Rehme; Screenplay Rick Natkin, David Fuller; Camera Peter Stein; Editor John Wright, Steve Mirkovich; Music Bill Conti; Art Director Paul Peters

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 108 MIN.

With: Scott Bakula Hector Elizondo Robert Loggia Harley Jane Kozak Larry Miller Fred Dalton Thompson

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