For weeks Barry has been looking for love in all the wrong places. But when his good friend from Nashville (Vandy) comes to visit, he comes to realize true love is staring him right in the face.
3 Stars (out of 5) "You're killin' it, Smalls"
At long last, a halfway decent game worthy of a positive review! It most certainly won't go down as a picture-perfect example of footballing but it somehow finds a way to hit all the right notes while also hitting you in square in the feels.
When Barry Met Vandy has many a flaw, yes. None more glaring than the inconceivable number of drops - which has become a not-too-popular trope of the 2016 Missouri Tigers - from a number of supporting characters and the unforgettable missed kicks. However, rather than dwell on the obvious negatives, I'm completely ignoring that side of the field and only dealing in the positive.
You just can't help but root for the at-times bumbling protagonist, Barry Odom, to finally find his soulmate. Despite his lackluster track record, Barry finds a way to win over Vandy and, just as important, Mizzou fans. He does so by showcasing some of the finest onscreen chemistry since Shia LaBeouf met Bumblebee. The spark between Barry and Vandy is just as palpable and in this reviewer's perfect world, they meet every week.
While those two were fun to watch, young star Damarea Crockett was busy stealing the show, again. This has become a welcome trend of sorts when it comes to Crockett. He's often the most memorable figure to appear on screen and somehow always leaves you wanting more. I'll have more of what he's having.
Speaking of more, we have the wildcard, J'Mon Moore. You never quite know what to expect from him on a week-to-week basis. At times - in the not-too-distant past - it has felt as though J'Mon was simply phoning it in, leaving his cast mates with very little to work off of. Not this time around, however, as Moore totally delivers in the best friend to the quarterback role he was meant to play. Possibly the most rewarding moments involve him and QB pal, Drew Lock - who showed great restraint and patience in his deadpan delivery.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the much improved defensive ensemble. While not always pretty, it kinda gets the job done. You'll be most impressed with the showings of soon-to-be NFLers, Charles Harris and Aarion Maxey-Penton. Solid, solid job!
Summary: It's hard to deny this was the feel-good game of the year. It's also hard to deny just how depressing that last sentence is. Be that as it may, what When Barry Met Vandy offers us all is a glimmer of hope that one day we too will fall in love. For some of you, that may mean falling back in love with Missouri Football.
What do you think? Rate the game below using the Smalls-o-meter and find out what the rest of Mizzou Nation thinks.
Rock M Review Ratings
*You're killin' it, Smalls (60% or more Mizzou fans rate the game positively)
*You're killin' me, Smalls (59% or fewer Mizzou fans rate the game positively)
Watch (or don't):
Genre: Romance | Rated PG (for pretty good)
Starring: Damarea Crockett, Drew Lock, Corey Fatony, J'Mon Moore, Charles Harris, Aarion Maxey-Penton and Barry Odom
Featuring: Ben Tesson as A Kicker
Produced by: Josh Heupel and DeMontie Cross
Directed by: Barry Odom