Five years ago, if anyone had predicted that Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst would become a film director, and that one of his first movies would star gangsta rapper Ice Cube, they probably never would have guessed that the resulting film would be a family-friendly, uplifting, PG-rated, semi-true story about a girl from a broken home who makes history after she joins an otherwise all-male middle-school football team. But with The Longshots, that is, indeed, the movie that these men have made.
The film is based on the story of 11-year-old Jasmine Plummer (played by 14-year-old Keke Palmer of Akeelah and the Bee), who, as a member of the Harvey Colts from Harvey, Illinois (a Chicago suburb), became the first female quarterback to play in the Pop Warner national football tournament in 2003. But like a lot of "inspirational" movies, The Longshots changes many of the facts in order to be more, well, movie-ish. The result is a very conventional film that doesn't particularly stand out from all the others of its ilk—but it is competently made and enjoyable enough on its own terms.
The tweaking begins with the unnecessary re-naming of Jasmine's hometown. For some reason, even though a photo of the real Jasmine in her Harvey Colts uniform is shown during the closing credits, and even though both Jasmine and the actress playing her were born in Harvey, the movie version of Jasmine is situated in a place called Minden and plays for the Minden Browns. I can't recall if the movie ever clarifies which state Minden is in, but there is a scene during the final tournament in which an announcer wonders aloud where the Minden team has come from, and the film cuts to another scene before anyone can answer him. So Jasmine's home has now ...1