By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood October 21, 2011 at 2:30AM
I've been following the film The Mighty Macs for a number of years. It's been one of those films that has been on the brink on release for what seems is a really long time. I was very excited to be able to include it this past February at the inaugural Athena Film Festival.
I love a feel good women's sports story. There are so few good ones. Ones that inspire and dare you to dream bigger than you ever imagined. This film follows in the line of A League of Their Own and Bend it Like Beckham but it takes it a bit further. It is a bit corny at times and has some cliches but you gotta just go with it because at the end you will believe.
This is the movie that shows the development of women's basketball. There would be no Maya Moore or Sue Bird had there not been Cathy Rush. Cathy Rush took a team of girls at Immaculata College in the early 1970s (not too long ago if you really think about it) who had no gym, no equipment, no uniforms, no support and willed them to be champions.
This was the days before there was a women's division of the NCAA. It was also right before the passage of Title IX which next year will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. Cathy Rush (played by Carla Gugino) a woman who loved basketball showed up at the doorstep of Immaculata College at a moment in time, got the job and turned a small Catholic women's college into a national champion.
She fought against all the odds and trained the girls to play and to win. The movie shows the beginning point where women sports went from something nobody paid attention to the amazing basketball we can all see now on national TV. Rush trained young women to be leaders as well as players, several teams members have gone on to coach at the pro and college level.
But most of the all the movie is inspirational and aspirational. It shows what you can accomplish when you believe and you put your mind to it, and is a fun movie for the whole family. There are tons of inspirational sports movies that depict male athletes overcoming the odds, but here is one of the few with a female protagonist fighting for change and pushing the envelope.
Every female athlete and their parents should be thanking Cathy Rush and the women who fought for women's sports because if not for them who knows if there would be millions of girls on the soccer fields or on the basketball courts.
Find out where the film is playing here