The Best of Times (1986)

Genres - Comedy, Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Sports Comedy, Reunion Films, Romantic Comedy, Sports Drama  |   Release Date - Jan 31, 1986 (USA)  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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There is real charm and warmth in the simple romantic comedyThe Best of Times. The two lead couples Jack (Robin Williams) and Elly (Holly Palance) and Reno Kurt Russell and Gigi (the wonderful Pamela Reed) reveal an intimacy (thanks to Ron Shelton's warm, perceptive screenplay) that allows the viewer to see both sides of their respective marital disputes, even though the film spends more time with the guys. The film is about men who live in the past and must confront it in order to live with themselves and their wives in the present. One of the smarter touches in this script is that Reno, who is as beloved for his past success as Jack is tainted by his failures, suffers just as much for his inability to put the past behind him. All of that, however, is subtext for a very funny movie about high school football and how much it means to small towns. Although The Best of Times is directed by Roger Spottiswoode, and contains fine performances from its talented cast, it clearly belongs to screenwriter Ron Shelton, whose later directorial efforts (Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump, Tin Cup) are also about sports-obsessed adult "boys" who learn to be men.