By William Wolf


Hockey as a musical? The opening night gala at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival took the plunge with “Score: A Hockey Musical,” directed by Michael McGowan, who also wrote the screenplay. This may be hokey hockey, but the theme is close to the Canadian spirit with the country’s warm affection for play on the ice. But the overall result is mixed.

There is amusing exuberance in some of the musical numbers, with much fun seeing hockey players on the team known as The Blades cavorting as if refugees from a Busby Berkeley extravaganza. There is some amusing choreography with a battery of songs to match.

The plot itself is rather standard. Noah Reid plays young Farley, who is hooked on hockey and discovered as a great team prospect. His parents are played by Olivia Newton-John and Marc Jordan. Farley has grown up with Allie MacDonald as Eve. It is a classic situation of best friends who must discover undying love for one another.

The problem with the lyrics and music as characters break into song is that there is a dum-da-dum repetitiveness that can become numbing. There is little exciting creativity in the music and lyrics department.

As for other plot details, Farley is not inclined to love the violent aspect of the sport, which leads to his being mocked by teammates as a wimp. The challenge is for him to show that he can be as brutal as the next guy.

Give the film decent marks for the nerve of envisioning hockey as a musical, and that provides a measure of enjoyment. But this is a very cornball film that even the hockey-addicted may not be able to take entirely to heart.


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