Cuba Gooding Jr.’s career choices soured significantly after winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his exuberant turn as a professional football player in Jerry Maguire
. Here, he returns to the gridiron as a mentally challenged South Carolina man who is befriended and mentored by the local high-school football coach. Gooding is credible as the real-life title character who likes Motown tunes and spends his days pushing a shopping cart around town. It is also certainly a godsend that his coach here is played by former collegiate football talent and Oscar nominee Ed Harris. His stalwart performance as a man who needs as well as dishes out a very significant lesson in life gives this gutsy, heart-tugging nugget of glorious, quality schmaltz enough heart and soul to transcend its oversimplification of such issues as racism, social tolerance, sportsmanship and parental responsibility.