DVD Guide

Saint Ralph (PG-13)

Ralph, a 14-year-old at a Catholic school, comes to believe that the only way to heal his ill mother is to create a miracle. Specifically, he sets out to win the Boston Marathon. (The filmmakers are careful to set the movie in 1953 - presumably because even this kid wouldn't stand a prayer against today's Kenyan champions.) But the boy faces several obstacles, not the least of which is a plot contrivance in the form of a curmudgeonly school principal who blocks his way. The teen also struggles with impure thoughts that lead to humiliating situations inside and outside the confession booth. When Ralph finally enlists former marathoner Father Hibbert (a compelling Campbell Scott) as coach, the story becomes poignant in tone. The final sprint to the finish line is rousing stuff. Grade: B+

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