Thursday, June 2, 2005

Saint Ralph

Normally I would hate something as sugary-sweet and predictably "feel-good" as Saint Ralph, dismissing it as Hallmark-esque schlock. But call me crazy, I got all teared up a few times during this coming-of-age-50s-era-catholic-school drama.

Ralph Walker (Adam Butcher) just can't seem to do anything right...and he has special troubles with the not committing any sins part. With his father dead and his mother in the hospital (for a mysterious brain illness that's never clarified), he lives on his own by faking the fact that his grandparents are alive. When his mother's condition worsens to a coma, Ralph gets the bright idea to stage a miracle to bring her out of it -- the miracle being that he'll win the Boston Marathon (since he's been forced to join the track team as punishment for one of his many transgressions).

And really, with a plucky Jennifer Tilly (his mom's nurse), and the wise ex-marathon runner/current priest (Campbell Scott, looking terribly out of place in his priest robe) behind him, how can he lose? Throw in a love interest, and you've got gold - or vomit, I guess, depending on how you process a story designed to be so very "uplifting".

It's got all the terrible caricatures you'd expect, but somehow it seemed to come together. If you disagree, I'm fully willing to blame my acceptance of this film on the state of my girly hormones the night I saw it.

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