Personal Best 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 ,… Personal Best 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 ,…
DVD Review

Personal Best (2008)

PERSONAL BEST Patrice Donnelly and Mariel Hemingway
Image credit: Everett Collection
PERSONAL BEST Patrice Donnelly and Mariel Hemingway
EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Jan 08, 2008; DVD Release Date: Jan 08, 2008; Movie Rated: R; Genres: Drama, Sports; With: Patrice Donnelly and Mariel Hemingway

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

Originally posted Jan 11, 2008 Published in issue #974 Jan 18, 2008 Order article reprints