Disney’s McFarland USA hits theaters today, but I was lucky enough to get an advanced screening of the film so here are our thoughts on Disney’s McFarland USA! The movie is the inspirational tale based on the 1987 true story of novice Hispanic teen runners from McFarland, USA (an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley). The story revolves around the creation of the team as they give their all to build a champion cross country team against all the odds stacked against them. They learn to succeed and better themselves under the direction of their Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. It does take a bit for Coach White and the McFarland students to grow to love and trust each other, but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability he quickly begins to try to harness their running skills into something productive that can help change their lives.
The power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic are all showcased to their coach who quickly falls in love with his team and his community. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship crosscountry team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.
The story perfectly conveys the perseverance of a group of underprivileged kids trying to break into a sport that is dominated by mostly white, wealthy schools. Something someone like myself who is Hispanic and grew up in poverty can relate to.
McFarland, USA is very inspirational and has a lot of heart for a sports film. It truly showcases that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and put in the work. I greatly enjoyed it and you can tell that this film was a work of love for all involved in the making of it.
It’s a great film for the whole family to see whether you’re white, Puerto Rican, or any Nationality. The messages of overcoming the obstacles placed before you is universal!
McFarland, USA is in Theaters everywhere now!