Fast Girls

I have run out of 99c movies. Actually that is a small lie, I had one queued to go but when I sat down on Saturday night, I was not in the mood for a documentary so I will watch it this weekend. Just as well, as I have just discovered that this week’s 99-center is one I have already seen, (Amy).

I wanted something that was easy to watch and relatively quick to watch and would not leave me worrying about living in a dystopian future. At 91 minutes, Fast Girls seemed to fit the bill.

It came out the year that the Olympics were held in London, so its release was timely, because the story centres around two young English female atheletes. One, Lisa Temple, a blonde high achiever living with her divorced mum, whose well connected father is keen for her to do well and the other Shania Andrews, a girl from a run-down estate in London, being trained by an amateur with a cute dog for a side-kick.

So far so cliched, so what is the bet that these two girls from totally different backgrounds will spectacularly fail to get on as their equal talents on the track fuel their personal rivalries?

You could write the plot of this story with your eyes shut as the girls train towards the big event – the World Championships, which will see them come up against the seemingly invincible American relay team.

The difference between this film, though and last week’s cliche-ridden yawn fest, is that for me at least, this film works. It knows what it has to deliver and does so in style.It is not a big film, or a flashy one but it knows the story it wants to tell and does not get caught up in distractions or get over ambitious. It may be my English background providing a bit of bias, but I enjoyed the tone of the film and it has plenty of pace, both on and off the track. I am probably slightly too old to be the main target demographic for the movie but found myself caught up in the story as it zipped along.

The two main characters both have their demons to overcome. Shania has a lot to learn about the responsibilities of competing at a top level, while Lisa has her own personal issues to work out as she struggles desperately to gain her father’s approval.

The two leads are ably surrounded by a strong supporting cast and it is a good thing to see a film with women as the main characters, who are interested in more than their love loves – there is a great sequence as they leave a nightclub. While this was never going to be a movie you queued to get tickets for, the time sprinted by as I watched its characters doing the same. It’s no Chariots of Fire, but then it does not try to be either and it must have been fun to see it in the year of its release as England psyched itself up for London 2012.


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