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Sports drama 'Gracie' is heartwarming, but lacks soccer legs. 'The TV Set' is no 'Network,' but it'll ring true to anyone familiar with the machinations of the Hollywood hit machine.
The TV Set (R)
This is television writer Jake Kasdan's low-key, antivalentine to the industry that has fed him – a dry, precise dramedy about the sausage factory of network television. Billed as the story of one TV pilot's journey to the airwaves, "The TV Set" sidesteps caricatures in favor of slightly more real characters, albeit familiar ones: a harried, somewhat smarmy agent, the fatuous network executive whose top show on the air is "Slut Wars," and so on. This is not a comic masterpiece in the tradition of "Network." But it will be painfully familiar and occasionally funny to anyone who has ever tried to bring a personal project to life through the brutal work of a committee. Grade: B
"Gracie" is loosely based on a true story of Gracie Bowen, who fought to overcome the loss of her soccer-star older brother by trying out for his spot on the high-school varsity squad. Ratcheting up the suspense in this period piece are some stark odds: In the 1970s, soccer was strictly for boys. Elisabeth Shue, the inspiration for the story, plays Gracie's mother. And other Shue family members have cameos, including Andrew Shue as the junior varsity soccer coach. It's a heartwarming film, even if the lead actress doesn't have believable soccer legs. Some scenes might not be appropriate for younger viewers. Grade: B