October Positivity: The Perfect Race (dir by Dave Christiano)


In this 2019 sequel to Remember The Goal, cross country coach Courtney Smith-Donnelly (Allee Sutton Hethcoat) finds herself coaching at the college level.  One of the runners that she coached in high school, Brittany (played by Bethany Davenport), is now the best runner at Bethany University.  In fact, she’s the second best runner in the nation!  Coach Michaels (Clarence Gilyard, Jr.) brings in Courtney to work with Brittany while he deals with some health complications.

So, pretty much all the stuff that happened during the first movie happens during the second.  Once again, everyone doubts Courtney’s training methods.  Once again, Courtney takes it upon herself to tell all of the runners how to live their lives.  Brittany’s father gets angry when Courtney tells Brittany to run slower than usual.  Considering that Courtney is now a local celebrity because of how well the cross country team did in Remember the Goal, you might think that the other coaches would know about her techniques and would prepare for them.  But nope.  No one has any faith in Courtney’s ideas but she’s vindicated in the end.  In fact, over the course of two movies, Courtney is never once incorrect about anything.  To be honest, that’s kind of annoying.

The main difference between Remember The Goal and The Perfect Race is that Courtney is a thousand times more preachy in the sequel.  In the first film, she cited a verse from Corinthians and later talked about Jesus raising a girl from the dead and that was about it.  In The Perfect Race, it’s rare that a scene goes by without Courtney saying, “Do you remember the story about….” and then offering up a Biblical lesson.  It gets a bit tiring and, again, it’s hard not to get bored with Courtney having all of the answers all of the time.  For example, when she’s told that the track team doesn’t practice when its raining, she promptly asks everyone in the room to raise their hand if their parents are divorced.  Courtney goes on to explain that, if you’re not willing to train while it’s raining, you probably won’t be able to make a marriage work either.  WHAT!?  You know what else might end a marriage?  Dying of pneumonia.

For a film about athletics, The Perfect Race is a very talky film.  Unfortunately, most of the conversations are very repetitive.  When Courtney tells Brittany to slow down during one of her races, we got several scenes in a row of people asking each other why Courtney did that.  Brittany’s father asks Brittany why Courtney told her to slow down.  Brittany replies that she doesn’t know.  In the very next scene, Brittany’s father tells Coach Micheals about what Courtney told Brittany to do.  Coach Michaels asks Brittany’s father why Courtney did that.  “I don’t know,” Brittany’s father replies.  Coach Michaels asks Brittany why Courtney did that.  “I don’t know,” Brittany replies.  In the next scene, two rival coaches talk about Brittany slowing down.  One coach asks, “Why did she do that?”  “I don’t know,” the other coach replies.  And it just kept going and going until eventually, I wanted to throw something at the TV.

Anyway, my frustrations aside, Courtney is triumphant at the end of the movie, largely because Courtney is perfect and never makes any mistakes.  Did I mention how annoying that can get?

This film inspired me to go for a run, if just to have an excuse to stop watching it.  And, before anyone asks, I do not like carrots.

One response to “October Positivity: The Perfect Race (dir by Dave Christiano)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/17/22 — 10/23/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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