female ensemble sports dramedy
In Manhattan, the women on an amateur soccer team help a cancer-stricken teammate pursue her “bucket list” dreams.
Black List feedback:
Moving at a dazzlingly efficient clip, WOMEN WITH BALLS is a smart, charming, and unabashedly sincere character study that juggles its multiple plot threads well. There is something so supremely satisfying about watching the protagonists take down the soccer dudes, and the script’s grounded frankness is often electrifying while never resorting to hollow, lowbrow provocation. The sense of place is thoroughly immersive in its effortless specificity, and both the soccer and illness minutiae have been rendered with an evocative authenticity. Moments such as the Dr. Feelgood scene manage to transcend derivative convention thanks to the script’s sheer energy and uniqueness, and it is quite rare to encounter a tone that consistently blends organic humor with compassionate, humanist emotion.
WOMEN WITH BALLS features a highly commercial premise, and its entertaining blend of genres could conceivably play well to a contemporary, mainstream audience.
This story contains roles actresses would find appealing, thanks to their rich development and strong social commentary. A producer with an interest in developing female voices in a post-Me Too market would likely be very excited about this project.
Above all, WOMEN WITH BALLS is a heartwarming and beautifully written film featuring a cast of multidimensional and lovable characters that are not often the stars of modern cinema. All five of the Downtown United are fascinating, relatable, and strong female characters who love and support one another in a way that reflects how real women do. Their rapport with one another is realistic and weighted, and their specific stories are interwoven seemingly effortlessly.
Centering the piece on an almost entirely female cast is easily the script’s greatest selling point; as Hollywood becomes more and more aware of the importance of on-screen representation, executives are actively seeking out scripts across genres featuring leading roles for women. That the women are also ethnically diverse and many of them are over 40 feels almost radical in its uniqueness, as it’s so rare to find a film that explores female friendship at all, let alone female friendships between middle-aged women.