Lightweight, tween-targeted indie sports drama “16-Love” focuses on a driven junior tennis champ whose sidelining injury gives her a chance to experience normal teenage life for the first time. Innocuous and predictable but pleasant enough, the pic opens on 14 U.S. screens Jan. 20, though it’s more likely to find its audience via simultaneous on-demand and eventual DVD release.
Ally Mash (Lindsey Shaw, “Pretty Little Liars”) is a San Diego high schooler who’s never had time for much of an off-court life, due to Dad (Keith Coulouris) pushing her into a pro career. Spraining an ankle during a tournament against a bitchy Russian player (Susie Abromeit), however, she’s forced to take some time off. Encouraged by best friend Rebecca (Lindsey Black), she plays hooky from Dad’s elaborate rehab program and instead trains hunky fellow competitor Farrell (Chandler Massey, “Days of Our Lives”). Romantic sparks and an eventual rematch against her Russian nemesis ensue. The wholesome script by Leigh Dunlap (Hilary Duff vehicle “A Cinderella Story”) springs no surprises. But first-time feature helmer Adam Lipsius keeps things slick and pacey, and the cast is decent within mostly one-dimensional roles.