Anyone who has kids knows there is a time in their development, mainly from birth to age 18, when a self-proclaimed movie buff like myself has little or no time to watch movies.

OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. My children are 12, 12, (for only a week more) and 10, and I do get to sneak in the occasional flick with my husband. But the movie is usually rented or streamed on Netflix and we normally can’t begin until the kids are in bed, and that time gets later and later each year. Right now the rare movie begins around 9 or 10 p.m

There are a couple of problems with the above scenario. 1. That is way past my husband’s and my bedtime, so we usually end up falling asleep ten minutes into the movie, and have to find three or four other “free” evenings in order to watch the entire thing; and 2. As Murphy’s Laws of Parenting would state (check out other Murphy’s Parenting Laws at this post), inevitably when the kids hear us click play on that Blu-ray player, or their bionic hearing powers finally kick in and they hear the “micro-sonic” humming of a movie streaming to our television, they are downstairs — not feeling well, having difficulty sleeping, they forgot to do a piece of their homework, or (this one applies mostly to Shea) they have an incredibly interesting story they just have to tell us and it absolutely, positively cannot wait until the next day.

There is also the rare opportunity to go out and catch a movie, especially now that two of my children are old enough to stay home and “babysit,” but has anyone caught the price to attend one of those lately. The price of a dinner and movie for two can max out one’s grocery budget for the week. Not to mention the added cost of the evening if you and your significant other decide to attend a 3-D movie, which ultimately makes those of us who suffer from “post-child mommy motion-sickness” spend the majority of the movie with our eyes closed and then the whole evening ends up a bust anyway.

But last weekend, my husband and I found a solution! Yay! It took a little help from Mother Nature, and she’s not always willing to cooperate with us on a regular basis, but on this particular Sunday she decided to bring the cold and miserable rain back to Massachusetts, and surprisingly any activities that were previously scheduled were cancelled for the day. So, much like we used to pre-children, my husband and I, after a beautiful morning walk before the rain came, decided to have a lazy afternoon and watch a movie.

Like most movies we watch when the kids are around, this one was family appropriate, so we had no worries of them walking in on any inappropriate scenes when they inevitably came to interrupt us. Mark and I also figured at least one of them would join us on the couch, and watch the movie with us, thus the choice: Rocky Mountain and Angel City Pictures’ The 5th Quarter. 

The move is approximately an hour and thirty-five minutes long and is rated PG-13 because “some thematic elements which may be too intense for children under 13-yrs. of age,” but I believe it was definitely appropriate for my children, though surprisingly no one watched it with us. (Oh they did interrupt us and we had to pause the movie about 10 or 12 times, but no other occupants joined us on the couch.)

Released in March of 2011, the movie, written and directed by Rick Beiber (who has a list of producing credits to his name including Crazy, Made in America, and  Radio Flyer) stars Aidan Quinn, Andie MacDowell and Ryan Merriman. The storyline chronicles the true-life story of Wake Forest University football player, John Abbate, who turned his family’s tragedy into inspiration for himself, his college teammates, and millions of fans and non-fans alike.

Luke Abbate

Just days before his sixteenth birthday, John’s younger brother, Luke, is killed in a devastating car accident on the way home from lacrosse practice. As the family reals in the aftermath of the tragedy, John attempts to make sense out his brother’s untimely death, contemplating quitting football for good. Knowing quitting definitely wouldn’t honor the spirit of his athletic little brother, John decides to use the death of his brother as inspiration to motivate his football team, dedicating the 2006 football season to his younger, and convincing his coach to let him trade in his #40 jersey, to wears his brother’s #5. For that season John Abbate decided he was playing for two — himself and his little brother — holding up five fingers to his parents in the stands at the beginning of each game’s fourth quarter.



The film, also highlights the benefits of organ donation, as the family adheres to young Luke’s wishes to become a organ donor, and it warns of the dangers of reckless teenage driving. On June 22, 2011 the film even received the Donate Life Hollywood Inspire Award for the film’s positive organ donation storyline.

I have to say this film is a tear-jerker, but it is definitely worth spending your rainy or non-rainy afternoon in front of the TV watching it. It reminded me of some of our family’s favorite inspirational sports films “Remember the Titans” and “We Are Marshall,” all based on inspirational true-life football stories. As the press release reads on the 5th Quarter website, “a tribute to the power of hope and love, The 5th Quarter is an inspiring true story about a family coming together to rally a team, a school and a community to achieve more than they could ever have imagined.” It is also a film about overcoming adversity and facing difficult challenges head on, and a film that epitomizes the power and spirit of family.


Movie Photos Courtesy of

For more information about the Abbate family and “The Luke Abbate 5th Quarter Foundation” visit their website here.

Note: The above opinions are mine and only mine. I was not paid or compensated for this review.