Yes, McFarland, USA is another Kevin Costner movie about sports. But you know what, this is actually one that is worth running to the theatre to see.
Jim White (Kevin Costner) is a hot headed football coach who loses his job after throwing a cleat at lippy quarterback. As a result, no one will hire him. He settles for a teaching position in McFarland, CA, one of the poorest towns in America, nestled in the heart of California farm country. Many of McFarland High’s students are Mexican-American and work in the fields before school and on weekends. The grueling work has given them an incredible work ethic and physical stamina, which inspires White to start the school’s first ever cross country team. Cultural and age differences make the gig hard at first (the boys refer to him as “Blanco” and are constantly mocking him), but White never gives up, seeing the potential in the team.
The instant White and his family step foot in McFarland, you realize they are fish out of water. They are the only Caucasians in a town bubbling with Mexican flair and migrant workers. They don’t know the people, the customs, or the lingo. However, as White begins to care for embrace the cross-country boys, things change and the community begins to embrace him and his family. So much so that they plan a surprise Quinceañera for his 15-year-old daughter, Julie.
That’s what makes McFarland, USA different than your average sports movie. Not only does it tackle the typical themes of overcoming adversity, it also tackles topics such as fitting into new communities, overcoming cultural biases, and rising above your situation.
McFarland, USA left me motivated to do better. To overcome obstacles that myself and society have placed on me. To push myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually because the outcome is worth it in the end.