Against the Ropes Hmm...is this a movie or a metaphor for Meg Ryan's career? We know, Meg, you're tired of playing cutesy (and we're sick of seeing it),…
DVD Review

Against The Ropes (2004)

Details Release Date: Jul 13, 2004; DVD Release Date: Jul 13, 2004; Movie Rated: PG-13; Genres: Drama, Sports; With: Charles S. Dutton, Omar Epps and Meg Ryan; Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Hmm...is this a movie or a metaphor for Meg Ryan's career? We know, Meg, you're tired of playing cutesy (and we're sick of seeing it), but you can't exactly pull off boys-club ball-buster, either. In fact, not much of anything is pulled off in the featherweight biopic Against the Ropes. Based on the story of real-life tough gal Jackie Kallen, a woman who defied convention by becoming a (successful) female boxing manager, it's a premise ripe for a ''you go girl!'' yarn. Unfortunately, Ryan's performance falls flatter than her Midwestern accent and ironed hair. There are some nice moments with Omar Epps as the underdog fighter and Charles S. Dutton (who also directed) as his nurturing trainer, but slow pacing and a weak supporting cast -- including the usually sharp Tony Shalhoub -- leave this flick down for the count.

EXTRAS The two featurettes, interspersing comments from the real Kallen with clips from the movie, pack a bit more of a punch.

Originally posted Jul 16, 2004 Published in issue #774 Jul 16, 2004 Order article reprints