Movie Reviews
The Very Best Bike Movies

True Fans Cover True Fans

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

True Fans is an unusual film, ostensibly about basketball, but bicycles are front and center throughout. This original documentary tells the true story of three friends who bike from Venice Beach, Calif., to Springfield, Mass., home of the National Basketball Association’s Hall of Fame.

The main purpose of this pilgrimage is to deliver a new basketball signed by dozens of people who the three riders meet on their voyage. Each of the three confesses that he is not sure how or why they decided to tackle such a challenge, but they say that they believe the open road holds many answers – whatever the questions might be.

The trio depends on the kindness of strangers as they bike, and they manage very well, encountering along the way people who love bikes, basketball and kooky adventures. Their naiveté and the simple-mindedness of their journey seem to protect them.

Overall, the sojourn looks pretty tough. Our intrepid bicyclists are often cold and wet, hungry and dirty. Nevertheless, they persevere in what becomes homage to America as they pass through beautiful scenery, play ball in backyards and pull pranks in New York City and Asbury Park. Alas, the shaky, handheld camerawork of True Fans does not do justice to their travels.

There have been many cross-country bike treks, some to raise money, others to raise awareness. This trip, however, is more of a lark because it was primarily done for fun and depended on chance encounters rather than a set script or predetermined route. This whimsical film, occasionally dressed up with clever commentary, will make you root for the young bicyclists and feel as though, somehow, we all share in their good fortune to be on the road, on a natural high and on a bike.

Title: True Fans
Year Released: 1999
Duration: 41 minutes
Language: English
Bike Content: 7/10 wheels

Posted by Greg Borzo on 09/03 at 10:21 PM