In the battle for the Most Cliché-Packed Genre, the rom-com’s only serious competitor is the Inspirational Sports Movie, where scrappy underdog after scrappy underdog has overcome adversity, gotten a one-in-a-million shot at glory, and risen to shock the world by defeating an arrogant rival. Craig Moss’ upcoming In The Crease has a head start, as the high school lacrosse drama has all of those elements in place before a frame of film has been shot. The scrappy underdog is one Ted Nusbaum, a drama teacher at New York’s Talent Unlimited High School (crosstown rival to the Fame school), who decided he had observed his students keenly enough to write a high school sports drama.
Nusbaum got his shot—which is close enough to one-in-a-million, as very few first-time screenwriters get their maiden effort produced—in the form of a high school classmate of his own who had grown up to be a Hollywood producer. And the film is already up against adversity, as it’s been handed to director Craig Moss, best known for directing the Danny Trejo-starring Bad Ass trilogy, as well as bottom-shelf parodies with marquee-punishing titles like The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall And Felt Superbad About It, and 30 Nights Of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. (Okay, maybe not that last one.)
Moss now has to try his hand at sincerity, in a film with a disorientingly short title—clearly not his strength. Indeed, Moss is in over his head, up against the ropes, too old to play this game any more, just not cut out for the big leagues, hasn’t yet learned how to sweep the leg, and no one believes in him except the crusty old trainer who retired years ago. But there’s always a glimmer of hope. Could this minor-league director whom everyone counted out go the distance with summer 2015 heavyweights like Jurassic World, The Fantastic Four, and Tyrmynatyr Gynysys? No. But, maybe? No. But isn’t there always a chance? There often is, but this time there isn’t. But what if…? No. It will be soundly thrashed by those rich kids from across the lake. But least In The Crease is bound to be one of the best high school lacrosse movies ever made.