Saint Ralph

on August 05, 2005 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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Loosely based on the true story of the youngest contender in the Boston Marathon, "Saint Ralph" filters myriad Hollywood underdog clich├ęs and tropes through its own Canadian lens, resulting in a picture that's even stiffer and more artificial than the American norm.

Adam Butcher is the Ralph of the title, a ninth-grader in 1950s Hamilton, Ontario. His father has died and his mother is dying, inspiring the Catholic schoolboy to literally race for her life, encouraged by Father Hibbert (Campbell Scott), his sympathetic coach.

Devoid of surprises -- except for its realistic ending -- "Saint Ralph" plods along uninterestingly, offering up a slight romance (between Ralph and a female classmate), a bit of conflict (between Father Hibbert and the schoolmaster) -- and not much else. Blandly shot and staged, "Saint Ralph" never develops any bite or tension. It's content to skim the surface of emotion before limping to its dull, forgettable conclusion. Starring Campbell Scott, Jennifer Tilly and Adam Butcher. Directed and written by Michael McGowan. Produced by Seaton Mclean, Andrea Mann, Michael Souther and Teza Lawrence. An IDP release. Drama. Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and partial nudity. Running time: 98 min

Tags: Starring Campbell Scott, Jennifer Tilly and Adam Butcher. Directed and written by Michael McGowan. Produced by Seaton Mclean, Andrea Mann, Michael Souther, Teza Lawrence, IDP, Drama
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