Jake Shuttlesworth is serving time for the manslaughter of his wife when he is offered a deal by the governor that will grant him a reduced sentence if he can convince his son, Jesus, a prodigious young basketball player, to choose "Big State" ahead of the other colleges he is considering. Jake is temporarily released for one week to complete the task.
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Jake's daughter, Mary, receives him warmly, but the same cannot be said for Jesus, who is clearly unhappy when he returns home to find his father waiting for him at the apartment he shares with Mary. There is a brief, angry, confrontation and in the scenes that follow, as Jake tries to connect with his estranged son, Jesus is reluctant to heed his father's advice to choose "Big State," even when, in a fit of desperation, Jake tells him of the deal he has been offered by the governor.
While Jake waits for a decision, Jesus struggles to deal with the enticements of cash and girls offered by the colleges competing for his signature. He is confused and as the movie reaches its conclusion, he feels burdened by the pressure of making the best choice, both for him and his loved ones.
Best part of story, including ending:
At its heart it is a story about struggles with family and oneself. Every character has multiple motivations pulling them in different directions and this keeps viewers guessing as to the likely outcome.
Best scene in story:
The intensity of the atmosphere when Jesus returns home to find Jake waiting for him makes it my favourite scene of the movie
Opinion about the main character:
Jake is a highly conflicted character and this depth makes him relatable, at a certain level, to any viewer