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Tired of the Olympics?

I have chosen to review the movie ‘Personal Best’ in the spirit of the 2012 Summer Olympic games. Personally I’d rank this movie 4/5 because of its characters, meaning/ messages and story line.

Mariel Hemmingway in Personal Best.












Personal Best is about Chris Cahill, a young athlete battling to make it to the National Team alongside her new competition and attraction Tory Skinner. You can’t have a classic 80’s movie without a little bit of experimenting! The scene between Chris and Tory where they’re arm wrestling felt extremely real to me as a viewer. The power and devotion you can see in their eyes makes you believe its really happening. Patrice Donelly depicted every emotion of a jelous lover perfectly. Even the tiniest look and you can tell what she’s thinking. Mariel Hemmingway (Chris) is a little harder to read as an actress but she still keeps it interesting. I noticed that Tory and Chris were the only Gay/Lezbian couple depicted throughout this entire film. I think that writer/director did this to make you focus on how Tory and Chris are together. When compared to anyone else they acted like a normal, functional couple. Its the same at the end when she’s with Denny, you can only see a difference in her attitude. Chris begins as a sort of scared little girl trying to voice her opinion to her father. Watching this movie you feel like you’re watching Chris grow as a person. You see her start to carry herself on her own without Tory or Coach Terry. Chris gains strength every hardship she encounters and takes it in to better herself. As Chris’s Olympic career starts to pick up her relationship with Tory gets harder. Their relationship became public and thats when Tory decided it was too hard to be in love with Chris. Something I thought was missing from the film was that the year was about 1976 and no one was picketing/ protesting. Obviousley thats not necessary in every film of this nature but it helps to make the scene more realistic. Especially with something like the Olympics I’m sure there would have been at least one narrow-minded person there. I found it refreshing how Chris is 20 years old but still didn’t know what she wanted. In conclusion I loved this movie and would reccomend it to anyone confused about their sexuality. This movie helps you to better understand how people discover their sexuality. I feel like the job of a homophobic is to demean gay people and make them seem like monsters. If you agree with me on that statement then you’ll probably agree that this movie does the opposite. The message I saw was “We are all humans who go through the same things.” From personal experience I think theres a little Chris Cahill in all of us.


About Reelout

We host an 11-day queer film and video festival in Kingston, Canada in January/February each year!

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