You'll often hear it on TV: when something mildly dramatic happens in a game, the commentator will proclaim that you "couldn't write the script".
In a world where one of the biggest TV shows involving a teenage princess riding a dragon and commanding an army of freed slaves to spend six seasons traversing the land other characters can seemingly travel in a single episode, this is of course nonsense.
But it calls into question the relationship between sport and the big screen, and the seemingly endless level of misunderstanding. Just as live sport underestimate the talents of screenwriters, directors, producers and writers often fail to capture sport satisfactorily on the big screen.
There have been a few exceptions, for sure, (See Space Jam) but the general rule is that most sporting scenes in movies are very shit.
Here are a few examples.
Not to be confused with recent Lenny Abrahamson masterpiece 'Room', The Room was directed by Tommy Wiseau and has been hailed the "Citizen Kane of Bad Movies".
It really is stupefyingly terrible. The film is entirely Wiseau's creation, and he sourced the six million dollar budget himself. (the exact provenance of the money is unclear, the most solid claim is that Wiseau earned it importing leather from Korea). Wiseau credited himself as Writer, Director, Producer, Executive Producer and Star.
The film's failings are numerous. Wiseau's odd accent required abundant dubbing (much of it mismatched), he sacked the entire cast twice during filming, the actor portraying the character Peter quit halfway through filming and rather than replace him, Wiseau merely gave the rest of his lines to another character. In a bid to save time, the film's second love scene is merely a replay of the first.
The film is also rife with random and incompleted plot points: one character declared she had breast cancer only for the fact to be totally ignored for the rest of the film.
Much of the dialogue is set against the mindless tossing of a football. Although the football is often only tossed over a short distance, the editing is sufficiently terrible to ensure the ball remains airborne for seconds.
The highpoint for the football theme arrived during a scene entitled Tuxedo Football, which was consistent with the rest of the movie, if nothing else. Ashley Young would be embarrased by Peter's fall here:
Cats And Dogs
The beautiful game makes an unlikely appearance in Warner Bros' 2001 film Cats and Dogs. The plot focusses on the great and historic enmity between, you guessed it, cats and dogs.
The sporting scene highlights an equally historic and frosty relationship: that between the United States and soccer.
The writers needed a diversion for Jeff Goldblum and family to allow the main action take place in their home, so decided to give the young protagonist free tickets to an Exhibition game between footballing powerhouses Uruguay and er, Chad.
GOAL: The Dream Begins
Our hero in GOAL: The Dream Begins, Santiago Munez, comes up through the ranks to join Newcastle and overcomes adversity to dazzle in a showpiece game against Liverpool.
This all sounds passable, other than the fact that, having portrayed Munez as being entirely right-footed throughout the film, he dramatically curls in a free-kick with his left foot. Watch it near the end of the clip below:
It transpires that the the film crew didn't bother staging the dramatic crescendo: instead they rejected all semblance of continuity by using touchline footage of a Laurent Robert goal against Liverpool:
Bollywood movie Sye's plot line from IMDB reads "students of a college form a Rugby team and play against a violent gang of thugs to get back their college land".
A kind of West Side Story for rugby is a noble idea, but its execution was, well, poor. Although the clip is worth persisting with for the haka celebration at the end:
Clint Eastwood's Invictus wasn't terrible, but its portrayal of rugby largely was. Infuriatingly,it insisted that we experience the whole sport in slow motion and failed to capture the excitement of the 1995 final between South Africa and New Zealand.
Eastwood's portrayal of the sport lacked any continuity and largely consisted of men randomly grunting and colliding amid crowd reactions. Not the absurdist interpretation of the above, but not much better.
If you feel we have missed any, tweet @ballsdotie.