When asked to have a look at Back of the Net, my main motivation for doing so was a chance to interview the films director, Louise Alston (My first ever interview). In fact, I jumped at the chance. I love films, I want to be involved however I can, even if it’s from the outside looking in. Back of the Net may not generally my type of film, and as I told Louise during the interview, I planned on watching the film with my 10-year-old daughter to see her reactions. However, I finished work at 9pm all week and didn’t get the chance to watch it with her, so I didn’t get to see what I presume to be the target audience for the film, and instead I ended up getting up at 6.30am on my day off to watch it before my impending interview. I’m happy to say though, I didn’t get the chance to watch it with my daughter, and here’s why:
Back of the Net revolves around science-lover Cory Bailey (Sofia Wylie) whom is supposed to fly to Sydney to attend a semester aboard one of the most advanced research vessels in existence. However, when she arrives, she catches the wrong bus and ends up at a Soccer Academy. Cory is not the sporty type and is bullied by the highly admired soon-to-be-nemesis Edie (Tiarni Coupland). But with the help of science and the few friends that she makes, Cory begins to fit in just fine.
I cannot say enough positive things about this film. I enjoyed Back of the Net immensely and can’t find any reason at all to say a bad word about it. What I loved the most about Back of the Net is the dialogue written by Alison Spuck McNeeley and Casie Tabanou. It’s funny, clever, and completely believable. In short, its kids being kids.
The characters are brilliantly developed, with everyone from good girl Cory to nemesis Edie, to Coach Smith (Kate Box), giving rich material for the actors to dig into. Performances are playful and fun across the board. Up and coming star Sofia Wylie is also great in the role of Cory. She is currently a regular on Disney’s Andi Mack with several other Disney credits to her name, so it looks like the young star won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Back of the Net has a certain kind of buzz to it. Director Louise Alston manages to bring the necessary spark to McNeeley and Tabanou’s script, giving it the warmth that every feel good movie should have. On top of this, thanks to Sofia Wylie’s performance, you’re fully on board with Cory for every step of the way, helping make the desire to see Cory succeed feel completely organic.
Primed for a release at the beginning of the school holidays, Back of the Net is the perfect opportunity to get the whole family out of the house and down to the cinema to support a great Australian family film. The kids will love the quirky and fun characters while the parents can sit back, have a laugh and enjoy a trip out as a family.
Director: Louise Alston
Cast: Sofia Wylie, Christopher Kirby, Melissa Bonne
Writers: Alison Spuck McNeeley, Casie Tabanou