Eddie the Eagle … Flies


MV5BMTUxOTc5MTU1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODYyNTA1NzE@._V1_UY1200_CR89,0,630,1200_AL_For those who want to quickly return to Facebook posts of cat videos and photos of someone’s burrito, I’ll jump to my conclusion:

Eddie the Eagle is worth seeing.

Frankly, I wasn’t interested in seeing the movie, but I had free tickets to an early screening, so the price was right. Turns out the movie met most of my criteria for a good movie.

We all have criteria by which we judge a movie—the plot, production quality, the appearance of Scarlett Johansson—and one of my criteria is:

Does it kickstart a conversation when the movie is over?

Eddie the Eagle is the story of Eddie Edwards, who represented Great Britain at the 1988 Winter Olympics. What makes Edwards unique?

  1. He was the first person to represent Great Britain in ski jumping in over 50 years; and
  2. He was lousy at it.

The movie tells Edward’s story in two parts: (1) his decision and training to ski jump and (2) his participation at the ’88 Olympics. As best as I can tell, the movie stuck to the actual events at the Calgary Olympics. Everything prior to that, though, was created for the movie. Hugh Jackman, for instance, is a major character in the movie, yet he plays a non-existent coach.

What makes the movie worth watching—and why this film is a great conversation starter—is everything that made the crowds fall in love with Edwards at the Olympics. He was not good at his sport—he came in last in both of his events—but he didn’t seem to care. He was the true underdog. The other athletes were embarrassed by him—he was a mockery to the sport—but others saw him as someone who embodied the Olympic spirit: the athlete who does the best he can, even if he has no chance of winning.

Eddie the Eagle falls in with movies like Rudy and Cool Runnings, and it merits seeing—and talking about.

  • When is a dream or ambition worth striving for, and when is it truly unrealistic?
  • What was wrong with the attitude of other athletes toward Eddie? What was legitimate about their beef with him?

Eddie the Eagle opens Friday, February 26.

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