02 March 2023

Picture this: you go into the theatres expecting comedy gold from the same person whose singular goal was to find a Twinkie in a Zombie Apocalypse, and instead you watch a dramedy with just the right amounts of laughter, feels, and joyful moments.

Champions is about friendship, love, determination, and patience wrapped up in one of the most wholesome, feel-good movies I’ve seen in a long time. I counted the times I audibly said “aww” and I ran out of fingers.

The movie follows a basketball coach with high aspirations sentenced to community service coaching adults with intellectual disabilities. Marcus goes from a coach who only knows his players by their talents to knowing and caring about his team as humans and bonding with them in the ways they respond to the most.


(L to R) Alex Hintz as Arthur, Casey Metcalfe as Marlon, Matthew von der Ahe as Craig, Ashton Gunning as Cody, Tom Sinclair as Blair, Joshua Felder as Darius, James Day Keith as Benny, Madison Tevlin as Cosentino, Kevin Iannucci as Johnathan, and Bradley Edens as Showtime in director Bobby Farrelly’s CHAMPIONS, a Focus Features release. Credit : Courtesy of Focus Features


In a refreshing take, the movie features a picturesque, snowy backdrop you rarely ever see outside of Christmas movies. A part of me was skeptical about a comedy that could toe the line of what’s appropriate, in a movie about intellectual disabilities. But Champions did a great job of addressing the topic without being patronising or preachy.

The cast was fantastic and each of them adds new flavour and brings a little colour to the movie. Special love for Madison Tevlin who plays Cosentino, stealing the show with sassy lines and rocking her wardrobe. I thoroughly enjoyed her no-nonsense attitude and her lines to get her teammates to play their best game.


(L to R) Ernie Hudson as Coach Phil Peretti and Woody Harrelson as Marcus in director Bobby Farrelly’s CHAMPIONS, released by Focus Features. Credit : Shauna Townley/Focus Features


What surprised me most was watching the people in the movie theatre clap and cheer for the team as if they were watching an actual basketball match. Truly the experience of a lifetime! The climax was quite unexpected for a sports movie and provided a few nuggets to think about.

For someone as unathletic as me, getting motivated by Woody Harrelson was not something I ever envisioned, but here you go! Don’t miss out on Champions. This movie truly made my heart smile.


(L to R) Kevin Iannucci as Johnathan, Kaitlin Olson as Alex, James Day Keith as Benny, and Woody Harrelson as Marcus in director Bobby Farrelly’s CHAMPIONS, a Focus Features release. Credit : Shauna Townley/Focus Features

Check times & dates for Hoyts HERE, then head to Sylvia Park for a delightful family movie to go with your popcorn.