There are always perils when you make a movie based on the life of a real person. Real life tends to not follow the inspiring storyline. A Beautiful Mind's John Nash might have been anti-Semetic. The heroic bounty hunter in Domino killed herself right before the movie was released. The cute love story in Private Parts ended in divorce. The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things turned out to be about someone who wasn't real. It turns out that all Jews aren't responsible for killing Jesus in The Passion Of The Christ. You know, that type of thing.
Which is why you're always in trouble painting anyone involved in sports from the city of Philadelphia — a city we love, by the way — as a beacon of pure hope and glory. Because a report from an early screening of Invincible appears to have gotten extremely ugly, thanks to the wife of Mark Wahlberg real-life alter ego Vince Papale. Witness a report from someone unfairly kicked out of the screening:
Papale's wife, who I don't know, is a loud, aggressive woman. I'd guess in the neighborhoods someone like this gets by on spunk. As she entered the room, she was engaged in conversation with a young man, probably an Eagles fan. "Who are you?", she said. Those are interesting words. I defy anyone to define themselves on the spot. Or respond to such an inane question when you are the receiving end of it from someone with alcohol on their breath. The guy left the theater saying "Who are you?" She was now playing to the crowd, "I'm the wicked witch." And her family and friends chuckled. I didn't.
The next few moments in that theater were ugly. She made the absurd announcement that this screening was for family and friends. Everyone else get out. I doubt that I've ever heard a P.R. pitch similar to that at any free screening that I'd ever been invited to. I took public transportation to get here. I had gone through hoops to get into that place. I followed every directive that I received. But you know, getting a free ticket shouldn't ever cost me my self-respect.
And then it gets really ugly.
She proclaimed to the audience, "anyone that isn't a friend or family of Vince Papale raise your hand." I've never seen so many people sit on their hands. While that technique proved only the obnoxiousness of the orator, it was an ineffective way of rooting out the plague on this event, the real fans. This woman decided to go on her personal crusade. She started to go around the room. First victim, the black couple and daughter that stood out like a sore thumb at this event of middle-class white suburban wannabes ... Her family and so-called friends weren't telling her stop her tirade. After all, they just wanted seats. They were late, or drunk, or they were people like me sitting on their hands because they didn't want to be humiliated in front of a crowd of strangers. The black family, who were among the first people to come to this event, were kicked from their seats. I heard the educated and well-spoken lady say, "this isn't fair." Papale's wife made mention of the fact that "not everything is fair". I guess not.
It's a heartwarming story. We suggest reading the whole somewhat-sanctimonious-but-still-compelling tale.
Go Eagles! You made it, Vince!
(UPDATE: Apparently Papale's ex-wife isn't too pleased by the new movie. Includes outstanding grapefruit-sized testicles anecdotage!)