'Backwards' follows predictable plot, but details make it worthwhile

The Art Museum and other Philly landmarks play a centrol role.
The Art Museum and other Philly landmarks play a centrol role.
Posted: September 21, 2012

THERE'S an interesting idea at the heart of the locally shot "Backwards": What happens when a person falls short of something she's trained for her entire life?

Unfortunately, this nugget of an idea is drowned out by a saccharine-sweet romantic comedy mixed with a "Hoosiers"-plus-crew subplot.

Abi (writer Sarah Megan Thomas) is a rower on the U.S. Olympic team. We meet her just as she has been relegated to alternate for the second time. She freaks, throws down her oars and quits, leaving her listless at her mother's suburban Philly home. After she rejects her mother's ("Gossip Girl's" Margaret Colin) attempts to get her gainful employment, Abi gets a job as the crew coach at her alma mater, Union Academy. Complicating matters is the issue of the school's athletic director, Geoff (James Van Der Beek), her high school boyfriend.

"Backwards" follows the familiar tropes of both genres that it tackles, with Abi growing as a mentor as she coaches the girls and growing as her person as she rekindles her relationship with Geoff.

"Backwards" is obvious at times, but what makes it stand out are the details that Thomas imbues in her character (if no one else's) and how beautiful it makes Philadelphia look, especially the scenes shot on the Schuylkill, including some scenes at the Stotesbury Regatta.


Contact Molly Eichel at eichelm@phillynews.com or 215-854-5909. Follow her on Twitter @mollyeichel.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|