Here’s the thing about The Hallmark Channel movies lately, the are such a different vibe and I have to admit that I am not mad about it. I actually am loving the progression in their world and the joy that it is bringing me.
And hopefully you.
A Winning Team is one of those movies that breaks the mold of the typical Hallmark movie. It’s not in the formula that is different – that is still there. But the change is in the writing and the way that the actors seem to be more free with their character development.
The premise of A Winning Team is somewhat simple, “When pro soccer player Emily finds herself no longer in the game, she teams up with Ian, a laid-back small town coach, to lead her niece’s team to the playoffs.”
But the movie explores the meaning of family, choices, attitude and letting people in. The movie is about the importance of choices and the way that they affect others.
Emily Chen is not the nicest person. She’s a professional soccer player with an attitude on the field, but a fierce kick. She’s self sufficient and guarded. She’s had too much pain and is focused only on a win. That is until her attitude gets her in trouble and the coach decides to suspend her.
Sometimes what we think is the worst thing in our lives, is something that is needed. I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason and whatever it is, we’ll find the way. It’s the things that happen that propel us forward and make us make sense of our lives.
Sometimes by force, because someone else propels us to that point. Someone else makes us be something else.
Emily got suspended and decided that she would head home to visit her brother and niece. She may be a stubborn battle axe on the field, but she has a soft spot for her niece. You see she played soccer with her sister-in-law, and when she passed, she felt the need to take on a role. Even her brother says that she’s the closest thing that her niece has to a Mom right now.
I think that for Emily, it’s a lot. But she’s stubborn and won’t tell anyone that she doesn’t know how to connect. You see telling others that she’s guarded will mean that she’s got to let down her guard and let people in and I am not sure that she even knows what she’s perceived as. I also think that it’s a lot for her because soccer is the only life she’s known.
What I do love is that her competitiveness gets her into a lot of situations that she shouldn’t be in, with Ian. Ian is her nieces coach and well, if I was Emily, I would want to run and hide cause everything is always awkward. Instead, she powers through and she makes sure to keep trying to do what is best for her niece.
I think the joy of this movie isn’t the romance (and yes, we all should know that was going to be in there). The joy is the way that it showcases females following their dreams, being strong role models, and the power of encouragement. The relationships between Emily and her niece is strong and empowering.
Emily and Ian may fall for each other, and you are definitely rooting for them. There was a fear in me that she was going to build her life around him, but she didn’t. Yes, she changed teams to be closer to her brother and her niece, but it wasn’t about Ian.
So many times we see women in movies building their life around the man, but Emily was all about building a life that involved all aspects of furthering her career, but also being there and having an active part in her families life, coaching her nieces team, and yes, there was Ian.
Emily softened over time, but through out the movie, she was a positive force for the girls. She was someone for the girls to look up to, someone that they could find support in. She encouraged the girls to follow their dreams.
Ava found hope knowing that Emily was going to be there, no matter what. Emily found hope in finding balance and finding that soccer wasn’t everything.
Yes, the soccer team went on to win the championship and that was an amazing win. But I think the biggest win was Emily finding herself and Ava knowing that no matter what she is loves.
- Ian was headstrong, but I liked that he was willing to bend a bit and learned to compromise
- I wish I like oat milk
- The ropes cart was a hard no for me. I would have froze like Emily did
- Ian’s hair… it needed a new style
- Loved that Ava went out for the play and got the part