While NECESSARY ROUGHNESS admittedly traverses highly familiar territory, with few surprises, it does deserve to be appreciated as a genuinely entertaining, albeit old-fashioned, college football yarn that's great fun to watch.
Paul Blake (Scott Bakula, star of TV's "Quantum Leap") is a 34-year-old farmer who was once a star high-school football player. He was forced to drop out of sight when his father died, leaving Paul with the family farm to run. Now, after a 16-year absence, he's lured back to football by his
former Coach Wally Riggendorf (Robert Loggia). Riggendorf has recently been hired as assistant coach to Coach Ed Gennero, (Hector Elizondo) who, in turn, has been hired by Texas State University to find and form a new football team to replace the team kicked out of the conference for corruption.
The wildly unconventional team that coaches Gennero and Riggendorf assemble includes a macho military fanatic who admires General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, an egghead physics instructor, a swift martial-arts champ and most amazingly, a gorgeous female place-kicker (model-turned-actress Kathy
Ireland). On the field, Paul does his best to get himself back into shape, while off the field he must first lick the awkwardness he feels attending college classes with kids at least 15 years his junior, as well as woo and win Suzanne Carter (Harley Jane Kozak), the pretty, no-nonsense journalism
professor to whom he finds himself deeply attracted.
Meanwhile, Paul, Coach Gennero and Coach Riggendorf must fend off the flack they're getting from Dean Elias (Larry Miller, amusing as a man who would sacrifice his back molars to rid his campus of college football). As might be expected, this underdog, rag-tag team overcomes every obstacle and,
in tried-but-true ROCKY tradition, wins the coveted championship game.
NECESSARY ROUGHNESS travels its well-worn path with no twists or turns (unless the offbeat angle of the female team place-kicker is considered enough of a surprise to be a twist). However, the picture really succeeds in what it set out to do, provide mindless entertainment for a mass audience.
The attractive cast performs well under Stan Dragoti's expert direction, and the production values are uniformly competent. The cast and crew quite obviously had a good time making this movie and that sense of good cheer radiates from the screen. (Profanity, adult situations.)
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- Released: 1991
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: While NECESSARY ROUGHNESS admittedly traverses highly familiar territory, with few surprises, it does deserve to be appreciated as a genuinely entertaining, albeit old-fashioned, college football yarn that's great fun to watch. Paul Blake (Scott Bakula,… (more)