Goodbye, winter caps—hello, summer hats! It’s that glorious time of year where many of us can switch from content creators to content consumers. NYWIFT members Mellini Kantayya and Kathryn O’Kane have put together #SummerHours, a series of fun summer books, movies, and TV shows by or about women.
By Mellini Kantayya
A women-in-sports themed movie marathon can be almost as fun as running an actual marathon (with no recovery time). And no better time than on the heels of the 45th anniversary of Title IX—a major step in giving women equal access to athletic programs.
Here are some fictional athletes that had me cheering:
National Velvet (1944): With its screenplay by Helen Deutsch, National Velvet tells the story of 12-year-old horse-crazy-and-drowning-in-chutzpah Velvet Brown—exquisitely played by a Elizabeth Taylor. Velvet disguises herself as a male jockey to ride her horse in the Grand National steeplechase. This classic also stars a young Angela Lansbury. Available on Amazon.
A League of Their Own (1992): Nothing says “summer” like a good ol’ baseball flick, amiright? Directed by 1994 NYWIFT Muse honoree Penny Marshall and with an all-star cast, A League of Their Own is a fun, funny, heart-warming depiction of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League formed in 1943 during World War II. Available on Amazon and Netflix DVD.
Love and Basketball (2000): This is a solid feel-good-plus-all-the-other-feels movie and one of my favorite sports-themed films. Written and directed by past NYWIFT The Writers Lab mentor Gina Prince-Bythewood, Love and Basketball chronicles Monica’s (Sanaa Lathan) complicated relationship with basketball, her family, and the boy next door. Available on Amazon.
Bend It Like Beckham (2002): Londoner Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) has a passion for soccer. She also has conservative Punjabi Sikh parents who aren’t exactly keen on the idea of her playing professionally. Comedy most definitely ensues but director Gurinder Chadha grounds each character in a real emotional life, endearing us to each and every one—striking the perfect tension between personal ambition and wanting to please a genuinely caring family. As a bonus, this movie has some fantastic music montages. Available on Amazon.