Pride (2007)

Pride stars Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac and Tom Arnold. It is a look at a group of African American teens in a poor Philly suburb during 1974.

A PDR (Philadelphia Department of Recreation) Center is as good as shut down and closed. An out of work math teacher, Jim Ellis, played by Terrence Howard, gets a temporary job assignment to help the custodian pack it up. Drawing upon his high school swim days, he decides to fill up the pool. Only when the basketball hoops get dismantled, the teens decide to take a dip. One thing leads to another, and a rivalry quickly develops between the teens from the wrong side of town, and the swim team of Mainline Academy, a private school. The coach of Mainline is ably played by Tom Arnold (they're both basically "blow hards" so it wasn't really much of a stretch). Faster than we can say "inner city kids" we've got the PDR teens going stroke for stroke with the undefeated city champs. Their coach never gets to utilize his mathematics degree, and makes a career out of his temporary assignment.

Maybe I've seen too many of these films lately, but Pride is rather formulaic. While the swimming is a little different than the more usual basketball, this film feels like it all has been done before. Pride reminds me of a redone version of Glory Road, and not as strong. Also, while I often think these films need more editing, when I watched the deleted scenes on the DVD I thought they should be included in the film. I don't want to leave you with the impression that Pride is bad, it just follows the troubled inner city youth theme a little too closely without breaking any new ground. When you're in the mood for some “stand up and cheer,” check out Pride.

Overall Grade: B

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