DVD Backwards

DVD Backwards
DVD Backwards

Run time: 89 min
Rating: 5.3
Genres: Romance | Sport
Director: Ben Hickernell
Writers: Sarah Megan Thomas
Stars: Sarah Megan Thomas, James Van Der Beek, Glenn Morshower
When a fiercely competitive 30 year old rower fails to make the Olympic boat for the second time, she takes a coaching job at a school but struggles to adjust to life off the race course.
Plot Keywords: rowing
Country: USA
Release Date: 21 September 2012 (USA)
Box Office
Opening Weekend: $23,190 (USA) (21 September 2012)
Gross: $61,465 (USA) (5 October 2012)


  1. I really love sports movies – who doesn't? – the struggle, the competition, the training, the lift, and drama with that is great too. But Backwards is well-named, it really does have the genre backwards – it is mostly a snooze fest. I've rowed a lot and it is gruelling, tough, and ridiculous when it comes to how fit you have to be – don't really get that from this – it's too placid, inactive, and, honestly, frankly dull.

    I cannot recommend this on any level- the script is dull, the plot both clichéed and weak, but really it's the acting that lets this down most – neither lead has any charisma at all, they both just are there.

    All in all, this is a film that had a good idea to make a sports movie about rowers, like Varsity Blues, but fails to translate that passion into the script or up to the screen.

  2. I have never been a big sports film person, but this one is very exceptional. A wonderful feel good film not just about the sport, but about how sometimes what we think we want may not bring us the most joy.

    There are fantastic performances. James Van Der Beek is so charming as usual, and so impressed with Sarah Megan Thomas, who wrote, produced and stars!

    The whole supporting cast is excellent: the delightful Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche, Margaret Collin and the fantastic Glenn Morshower is awesome as the Olympic coach.

    The film is beautiful to watch, the rowing sequences are breathtaking. Makes you want to row! Where can we see it? Is it doing festivals now? Hope this one is coming to a theater near all of us soon. Very soon!

  3. Being privileged to see this film before its release, I can't wait for the premiere.

    Sarah Megan Thomas, (author, producer AND star), and James Van Der Beek give excellent performances. Glenn Morshower (nice to see him in something other than military garb), is wonderful as the Olympic Coach. The entire supporting cast did a great job.

    Being a "Philly" native, I really enjoyed the portrayal of this beautiful city. The rowing sequences are amazing!

    Exceptional work in the filming, acting and directing (Ben Hickernell).

    The film gives insight into what it means to be part of a winning team, the good and the bad. You will love it whether or not you are into rowing. It's a great story.

    This is one not to be missed!

  4. I travel a lot and end up watching movies on Netflix. You may know that Netflix is great for TV reruns, but not so great for movies. I end up watching a lot of independent movies like this.

    This movie is a chick flick for women who like sports. The main character sacrifices her personal life and any sort of a career for her dream of winning an Olympic gold medal in rowing. After being named an alternate for a third time, she gets frustrated and quits. Her best friend, who would not have made the Olympic squad at all, replaces her as the alternate.

    She gets a job at her alma mater, a private prep school (high school), as the new rowing coach. At this point the movie utilizes the typical sports movie cliché where the new coach turns things upside down and no one likes her. Eventually the coach realizes she's being far too tough on high school age girls, and changes her tactics. She takes the best two girls and makes them the national champion in the two-man event. Now it's off to Europe for international competition.

    Spoiler alert: Up to now the movie was merely somewhat boring. Here is where it gets downright stupid….

    Someone on the Olympic squad gets injured and will not heal in time. The tougher-than-nails Olympic coach comes to our main character and asks her to rejoin the team, not as an alternate, but as a first line rower. (And here is where the stupid chick flick emotional crap takes over.)

    The prep school girls hate her for making the decision to leave for the Olympics before the European event. The athletic director, her boss and boyfriend, also says she's abandoning her responsibilities. When she rejoins the Olympic squad, her best friend hates her for coming back. If our main character wouldn't have quit, she would have been the alternate, and her best friend wouldn't have even been on the team. But, in typical chick flick emotional style, the best friend feels betrayed that she came back and took her spot, leaving her to remain as an alternate. In the end, our main character just quits the Olympic squad, gives her seat to her best friend, and returns to coach her prep school squad in Europe.

    The first part of the movie sets up just how hard this woman worked for the Olympics. It shows how she makes physical sacrifices to stay in tip-top shape, how she has no friends, no love life, and no career all to make it to the Olympics. Then, after she gets the chance, she gives it up. We viewers are supposed to accept this would really happen?

    The prep school girls and the AD boyfriend are selfish. An Olympic gold medal could set this woman for life. It could bring fame, endorsements, and high-paying coaching opportunities at universities like Yale. And we're expected to sympathize with the high school squad and believe that the coach is being unreasonable and abandoning them?

    As for her best friend, the movie clearly shows how tough the Olympic coach is and how he cares only about winning and not about feelings. Our main character feels she got screwed over by being named as an alternate, but the coach made it clear he didn't care about feelings. So when she comes back, the best friend – the one who wouldn't even be an alternate if our main character didn't quit – feels betrayed, and we're supposed to sympathize with her, too? Even if she doesn't agree with it, her best friend should understand what the coach has been teaching the team for years: Results count for everything! Feelings and emotion don't matter!

    I swear, if I ever met the person who wrote this movie I would punch them in the head.

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