Against the Ropes kept reminding me of watching the quietest girl in high school. You knew it was all in there, but you just never got enough evidence of it.

First of all, Meg Ryan is the pillar here and she is, as always, up to the acting task. Problem I see often for Meg? She wants to flesh out and play parts that she is capable of and that are an impressive stretch for her resume, but that we don’t really want to see her playing.

Here she fleshes out yet another character, Jackie, female fight promoter before that was cool (is it even cool yet?), that we believe her in, yet we don’t like and aren’t captivated by. The whole first half, I kept waiting to love this project and couldn’t quite get up the jones necessary to be attached to it. It

As a huge fan of Ryan’s, it is so hard for me to understand her career choices. Here is a woman who has the brass ring of rapport with audiences; a woman we have a hard time not completely loving, emulating and thinking is hip - yet she seems to pick about 50% of her projects to flesh out the darker, more unlikable aspects of her talents. Are you really versatile when you’re shooting yourself in the foot at the same time?...

As for her character Jackie, you can appreciate that she is blazing a trail but not with any kind of grace or style or likability. So the feel-good hero-laden score seems like a weird choice all the way around.


This film had all the components. It even had heart. But as for this viewer, I could never quite figure out who I was rooting for. And for a boxing movie, that’s not a good thing.

If you love boxing movies or Meg Ryan movies, I’ll give you a list of other better ones. Against The Ropes doesn’t suck, but life is short.

Oh, and one last thing. The obligatory final applause scene didn’t fit and gave me heartburn. And there you have it all.

Copyright © 2006 CTarr