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Review (5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Radio is the true story of a quiet, toothy young man that came to be known as Radio (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a man described by his own mother as "the same as everybody else, just a little slower than most". The young man frequently pushes a shopping cart full of his own personal treasures around the small town of Anderson, South Carolina and is sometimes seen watching football practices at T.L. Hanna High School. He loves his radio, he loves music and he loves eating lots and lots of food. (His love of food even allowed for some blatant product placement.) Because Radio is a little slower than most and has really bad teeth, he becomes the target of the ridicule of some of the school's football players and one day Coach Harold Jones (Ed Harris) discovers that a frightened Radio has been taped up and locked in an equipment shed. Coach takes a liking to Radio - and tortures the guilty players with a grueling practice. He encourages Radio to help the team at practices and during games and soon Radio becomes a permanent fixture at T.L. Hanna High. Of course, there are some in the football-mad community that see Radio as more of a distraction with really bad teeth than anything and as a result there is some public resistance to his attendance at the school and its football games. Coach Harris makes it his own personal mission to make the community accept Radio and his teeth, but his time spent with Radio and coaching the football team causes strain on his relationship with his wife (Debra Winger) and their teenage daughter. He will eventually have to choose what means more to him - his family, his friendship or his career.

Radio is the type of movie that, because it is based on real life events, will make you smile. It is nice to see a person with the perceived limitations of Radio become such an integral part of a community. Many people like Radio would not get such opportunities. It is nice to see that there are people in the world like Coach Harold Jones - a person with strong convictions who is not willing to change his beliefs when pressured by others.

Radio is a nice movie. Cuba Gooding Jr. is excellent as the lead character. Acting with those teeth in his mouth was one of the most remarkable performances I have seen this year thus far. But the movie could have been better. Radio seems like it is a great story waiting to be told on the big screen but this movie comes up a bit short. It just seems to be missing something and what that something is, I'm not quite sure. Perhaps it is because the movie is not very inspiring. I really do respect Radio and where his life went but there is almost never a single moment in the movie that makes you want to jump out of your seat and cheer for Radio or cheer for Coach Jones. It's not that they are not inspiring people, it's more that what we see on the screen comes up flat.

There are very few genuine heartfelt moments in this movie and that might be its biggest shortcoming, which is too bad because, on paper at least, the story of Radio seems fascinating. I think I would have been impressed if Hollywood would have used its magical powers and spiced up the story a bit but if they did try to do that, they failed miserably. One thing I will say that was thoroughly enjoyable was the end of the movie where we get to see the real Coach Jones and the real Radio on the screen. But besides that, this movie has very few memorable moments and might be better checking out as a rental rather than trekking out to your local theatre to see it.

Keyword : Eli, Hop, Rain, Debra Winger, Action, Teen, Food, Music, School, You, A Di, JR, Cuba Gooding Jr, Ant, Jr., Cuba Gooding, Ed Harris, Cover, Ex, Friendship, Game, Good, Harold, Heart, Here, High School, Holly, Jump, Love, Magic, Missing, Out, Push, Radio, Red, Rent, Screen, SIS, Take, Teeth, Thor, Tron, Up, Will, Bi, Now, Ron

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