Mayberry Mood
Review by Ross Anthony

Warm-hearted, schmaltzy, I liked it.

In a 1976 Mayberry sort of way, Ed Harris sticks to his mores as would Andy Griffith, while a misguided Barney Fife type, complicates an elementary issue. That's an oversimplification, and the film is based on a true story not an episode of the Andy Griffith Show -- still, this point serves to describe the tone quality of Radio.

In a nutshell, HS teacher & Coach Jones (Harris), takes the twenty-something and somewhat "slower" Radio (Gooding Jr.) under his wing (on the field and in the classroom). This action produces almost as much controversy, as sweet sentiment.

Ed Harris delivers a strong performance; he's a solid actor -- always strong. Cuba on the other hand, is a bit of a wildcard, an obvious talent, but with a disposition to go over the top. If you're worried about that going into "Radio" -- don't. Cuba tempers this role well.

The production focuses on Radio, while other lesser story lines are introduced and left undeveloped, even so, the film engages on an emotive level each and every scene. And it's got a big heart, good message, and, refreshingly, an antagonist that's more real/human than evil. Strong A-.

  • Radio. Copyright © 2003. Rated PG, 109 mins.
  • Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris, Alfre Woodard, S. Epatha Merkerson, Debra Winger, Riley Smith, Sarah Drew, Chris Mulkey.
  • Directed by Michael Tollin.
  • Screenplay by Mike Rich.
  • Produced by Brian Robbins, Michael Tollin, Herbert W. Gains at Columbia/Revolution.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:55:23 PDT