Strike it Like Sara
Sara Davis (Leah Pipes) is 15 years old and has spent her entire life living, breathing and sleeping soccer thanks to her soccer coach father Gil (Scott Patterson) who believes she has enough talent to be the youngest to make the U.S. National training squad. When she doesn't make the cut her friend Tutti (Lalaine) decides to show her the other side of life as she joins the dance club and finds herself falling for Josh (Drew Bell) the photographer on the school's paper. But when another shot comes up for a place on the national training squad Sara finds herself trying to juggle soccer and the time that it gives her with her dad as well as doing normal teenage stuff.
That synopsis doesn't do justice to "Her Best Move" as whilst it only ends up an average move there is some interesting writing and ideas going on. Take Sara who having lived and breathed soccer suddenly has her eyes opened up to another side of life as she starts to do normal teenage things including meeting a boy. But then there is her devotion to soccer and as we learn her father has a knee injury and as a coach you can read into that he probably had a sporting career turned short and maybe living it vicariously through his daughter. But with her father living and breathing sport when Sara doesn't initially get picked for the National training squad he drops their one on one training which is the only time she spends with him. Basically whilst there is most of a cliche aspect to "Her Best Move" the writer has done a nice job of combining ideas.
But the trouble with "Her Best Move" is that the whole thing has been dumbed down to work as a piece of entertainment for 13 year old girls which does the writing a disservice. From an opening scene of Sara throwing clothes out of her wardrobe with no care for them to a scene involving Sara and Josh together having fun to a bubbly little bit of music it too often borders on the corny and that is really frustrating.
In fairness the cheesy dumbing down is not the only problem and in truth who ever came up with the story makes the mistake of trying to add too many elements. As such we also have on top of things Sara's mum being a family therapist who always secretly hoped for Sara to be a dancer. It just makes it all feel a little too forced, trying too hard to bring too much in to the story to pile on the pressure on to young Sara's shoulders leading to her juggling more than ever and struggling.
What this all boils down to is that "Her Best Move" is an okay movie but by dumbing things down to appeal to a young audience it does a disservice to the writing which whilst having too much going on actually has some intelligence to it more than you get in most movies made for this age group.