My All American

Screenwriter Angelo Pizzo is best known for Hoosiers (1986) and Rudy (1993), two entertaining and mainly artless films in which white, midwestern, underdog college athletes overcome the odds, proving themselves to their families, their friends, and the rest of the country. Making his directorial debut, Pizzo tells the real-life story of Freddie Steinmark, an undersize University of Texas safety whose steady rise on the gridiron was halted by bone cancer in his senior year. This is ideal fodder for Pizzo’s brand of college-sports inspiration, but he pours on the corn syrup a little too thick (it’s remarkable that Aaron Eckhart, playing the UT coach, is able to say “He’s my All-American” in the first minute of the film with a straight face).