In Jeannie Donohoe’s Game, the film opens by displaying a high school basketball practice, a scene so familiar that it immediately brings nostalgia for what many call “the good old days” of adolescence. Enter AJ Green (Nicole Williams), the new kid in town who is trying to test the limits of this all male basketball team. Some on the team are not so friendly, however, as fellow player Collins (Tye White) becomes the irrefutable team bully, creating tension with AJ and the rest of the players.
Pressure for AJ to succeed in basketball is displayed as AJ’s father (Charles Parnell) plays the perfect “motivational” father figure, which in the end only creates more strain in their relationship.
Recurring themes of isolation and loneliness are beautifully presented with Nicole Williams’ character, AJ, as she attempts to prove her worth on this competitive team. In the locker room, intensity increases as the team discover AJ’s true identity. The players continue to taunt AJ in their hyper-masculine displays until the coach (Rick Fox) enters the hysteric reveal. Faced with this challenge, the coach then must decide if AJ is to remain on the team or not.
Game is an impeccable film showing the strife of a young female trying to break the gender binary and succeed in the sports profession, a profession that has historically favored men. Jeannie Donohoe created a heartwarming and thought-provoking film that can be appreciated by audiences of all ages.