I had a really difficult time picking from my list of movies for today’s installment of 73 Sports Movies in 73 Days, because I watched one boxing movie that I love, found a terrible sports-related movie on Showtime earlier and then watched a basketball movie that I love to hate. And while all three will be featured in their own installments eventually, I couldn’t help but drop everything when a friend sent me the trailer to the 2007 basketball family comedy, The Minis, starring Dennis Rodman.
It’s a film about friends, family, standing up for yourself and, most of all, Rodman playing basketball with a team of dwarves, and it is the subject of today’s sports movie breakdown.
The Minis is a story of a man named Roger, who is desperate to send his son to college, but lacks the cash to do so. In the great tradition of Hollywood’s easiest solutions to everything, Roger convinces his friends – Chevy, George and Nick – to sign up for a local basketball tournament that will pay the winning team $50,000. There’s only one problem – they’re all little people and can’t compete against the other teams without, um, a little help. How bad are they? NUT SHOT!
Naturally, Roger gets the idea to give Dennis Rodman a call, because he’s probably not busy in North Korea yet, and sure enough – after he’s convinced that he needs to do something to make people like him – the Worm agrees. Together, Rodman and the Minis learn a little about teamwork and a lot winning.
Roger – He’s just a dad trying to win his son’s heart, and he’ll do whatever he can to give his teenage son a good life and make him proud of his little dad.
Chris – Roger’s son is embarrassed of his little dad and, for some reason, he blames Roger for him not getting into college on a basketball scholarship. Wanna know how much Chris dislikes his dad? He calls him Roger. Roger wants Chris to be a basketball player, but Chris wants to be a clown and go to a clown school in Paris. Seriously.
Chevy – Roger’s best friend, co-worker and fellow little person Chevy is dealing with his own doubts about his height as well. Chevy has a thing for Natalia, but she looks way above him, leaving him to question his looks. He wants to have an operation to make himself taller, because life is an episode of South Park.
George – He’s the black friend!
Nick – He’s the other little friend who says one sentence lines every now and then when it’s his turn.
Dennis Rodman – The NBA legend makes an appearance at a local charity event and tells the people in attendance that money is the most important thing, before he’s corrected by the principal. But he’s only there for the money, which is why he initially turns Roger and the gang down.
(Also, someone makes a really loud fart noise at the charity event and it’s pretty awkward, which is odd, because I typically find fart noises to be universally hilarious.)
Lorraine – She’s a little person as well, but she’s way more positive about life than her friend, Chevy. Her optimism and personality got her a job at the hottest restaurant in Venice, so she believes that Chevy should follow his dream of playing basketball. She’s also jealous of Chevy’s attraction to Natalia.
Jack – Rodman’s agent is his voice of reason, explaining to the NBA icon that he overdid it with being such a “freak” and being on so many reality shows. Jack sees all of the positives in Rodman helping Roger’s team out, so he talks him into joining “The Minis” as a huge marketing ploy.
Natalia – She’s from Texas, because she has a Texas accent. But she looks right past Chevy, and she calls him names like Chimney and Levy and pats him on the head, which makes him sad. She’s also obsessed with cows. Eventually, she takes a liking to Chevy, but only because the Minis become famous and are making a lot of money.
Jimmy – He’s the bully who picks on Chris because Roger is a little person. To Jimmy, being a little person means being a loser, so he tells Chris multiple times, “Like father, like son”, because they’re both losers and Jimmy is super cool.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this movie that includes basically zero people with acting talent is that Rodman manages to be the worst actor.
Every few minutes, there are break scenes with terrible 90s beach music and tilted cut shots of Venice Beach. I think it’s just to remind us that they’re in Venice. And about halfway into the film, there’s a random breakdancing scene that has nothing to do with anything, other than to play the theme song to The Minis.
But they make up for it with this costume montage…
The Minis finally determine that Jack isn’t looking out for them at all, and he only cares about lining his own pockets (he wants them to market diapers!). So they turn their backs on Jack and focus on their main goal – winning the Venice Beach tournament! Of course that means they face Jimmy’s team in the finals – that are televised, like all local tournaments – and do they embarrass him by pulling his shorts down?
Haha, you bet they do! But then Rodman gets hurt with the Minis down by 4 and very little time left, so he tells the four of them that they can beat the other team, but who will be their replacement???
Chris, the clown, of course!
Sure, the acting is terrible, the plot jumps from place to place with very little consistency, and the basketball scenes lack any actual ability and choreography, despite the fact that they have an NBA legend. But ultimately, The Minis is a very sweet movie at heart, with a message that anyone can do whatever they want if they simply put their hearts into it, and by just trying, we can all beat the Jimmy in our lives. Of course, that message is just a little skewed because of the horrible acting and unintentional comedy wrapped up in The Minis.
Most importantly, the Minis teach Rodman and us that life isn’t always about money, and that’s something that he carried over into his life. Haha, just kidding, Rodman would have made this film as a porn if they paid him enough.