The Big Green

on September 29, 1995 by Kim Williamson
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   A surprisingly engaging effort from Caravan, which has made a number of disappointing films in this young outcasts- triumph-over-the-mighty genre, "The Big Green" is set in the depressed small town of Elma, Tex. Working hard to raise the spirits of her sadsack students is Anna Montgomery ("The Last Good Time's" Olivia d'Abo), an exchange teacher from England who decides to instill self-confidence in her charges by teaching them soccer. And it works even more than she imagined, as the residents rally behind the Big Green team and root it toward the championship against a haughty undefeated squad in big-city Austin.
   Screenwriter-turned-director Holly Goldberg Sloan ("Angels in the Outfield") ably works audience demos by providing easy humor for the kids but enough witticisms to satisfy adults. But d'Abo is the film's highlight; reverting to her native English accent, she seems at home in her role and shines with an honest enthusiasm. Her presence alone makes this must-see family fare.    Starring Olivia d'Abo and Steve Guttenberg. Directed and written by Holly Goldberg Sloan. Produced by Roger Birnbaum. A Buena Vista release. Comedy/drama. Rated PG for some mild language. Running time: 100 min.
Tags: Olivia d'Abo and Steve Guttenberg. Directed and written by Holly Goldberg Sloan. Produced by Roger Birnbaum. A Buena Vista release. Comedy/drama, outcasts, depressed, soccer, witticisms
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