I detest feel good movies, they all have the same premise. The underdog overcomes all of the obstacles in spectacular fashion and everyone cries at the end. It's pretty predictable. Going into Eddie the Eagle, I had very little expectations. After less than two minutes into the movie, little five year old Eddie put a smile on my face that didn't leave until the final credits started rolling.
Eddie the Eagle is a story about Michael "Eddie" Edwards and his up hill struggle to become a participant in the Olympic games. Like most movies about struggling to overcome obstacles, Eddie had his share of bumps in the road. For Eddie, the cards were stacked against him from the beginning. When he was just a kid, he had knee problems that forced him to wear Forrest Gump-like knee braces. A small thing like a bad knee wouldn't stop Eddie from dreaming.
Eddie would pack his little bag and tell his parents he was going to Rome for the Olympic games and leave his house. His father would follow him to the bus stop and pick him up and bring him home telling Eddie that he wasn't ready yet. Every year, Eddie's leg would get stronger and stronger until, eventually, the knee brace finally came off. The doctors told him not to run and jump on it, but of course Eddie didn't listen. He was going to the Olympics one day.
Eddie would try and practice in every event. The pole vault, the hurdles, the javelin, and even the hammer throw. Every event he tried to do resulted in an unsuccessful outcome including, but not limited to, breaking his eye glasses over and over (which he kept all his broken eye glasses in a XXX Biscuit tin box), hurting himself, and breaking all sorts of his parent's stuff. His father, unfortunately, didn't believe in his son's dream and forced him to become "more realistic" and get a job. But the Sisters of Fate wouldn't allow Eddie to quit. That wasn't his destiny. While with his dad, he came across something that made him realize his destiny wasn't to be in the Summer Olympics. Eddie was going to compete in the Winter Olympics.
"Frankly, Eddie, you'll never be Olympic material"
It's one thing for a few people to tell you that you'll never accomplish your dreams because you're too big, small, black, white, awkward, or whatever, but it's another thing for everyone you encounter to tell you that. With the exception of Eddie's mom, there wasn't a single person that believed in his dream. Even after he found a sport he was just as good as the best in his country, the higher ups told him no. Not because Eddie wasn't good enough. It was because he didn't look like an Olympic athlete and that he didn't go to the right schools. Again, another hurdle that Eddie needed to jump and again he cleared that hurdle when no one believed in him.
I'm sure there are other movies that can exemplify what it's like to overcome the odds, but I can all but guarantee is that none of them are like Eddie the Eagle. Besides the great story, Taron Egerton (you may remember him from "Kingsman") was fantastic in his portrayal of Eddie. So much so that Eddie himself said that Egerton is "Uncannily like him". Hugh Jackman (X-Men, Wolverine, Tony Award winner) was also great playing disgraced former Olympian Bronson Peary.
And as cliché as this sounds, this movie has heart. The one thing that anyone can take from this movie is that anything you want doesn't come easy, it takes hard work, working for your dreams makes victory is so much sweeter, and people telling you that you can't, are completely wrong.