Personal Best | EW.com

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Personal BestFor his directorial debut, Chinatown scribe Robert Towne chose to chronicle the sapphic relationship of two Olympic track-and-field hopefuls. The...Personal BestDrama, SportsRFor his directorial debut, Chinatown scribe Robert Towne chose to chronicle the sapphic relationship of two Olympic track-and-field hopefuls. The...2008-01-11Scott Glenn

(Everett Collection)

B

Personal Best

Genre: Drama, Sports; Starring: Patrice Donnelly, Mariel Hemingway, Scott Glenn; Director: Robert Towne; Author: Robert Towne; MPAA Rating: R

For his directorial debut, Chinatown scribe Robert Towne chose to chronicle the sapphic relationship of two Olympic track-and-field hopefuls. The result was Personal Best, a boldly languorous film about competition — one that yielded dismal box office and years of leering ”personal best” punchlines. Yet patient character studies (and impressive first-time acting by athletes) redeem the boilerplate training-for-a-big-race plot. EXTRAS On a commentary, Towne praises the film’s verisimilitude but glosses over the drama (affairs, lawsuits) that reportedly swirled behind the scenes. B

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