Film review: 'The Pistol Shrimps'
Don't be fooled by the offbeat appearance of "The Pistol Shrimps" (screening at the 42nd Seattle International Film Festival). They may not dunk or go 10-for-10 from behind the arc, but these athletes are serious about basketball and they absolutely ball hard.
In short: Every Tuesday night, women from various backgrounds - from comedians, writers, models, etc - gather in Los Angeles-area community gyms to compete for women's recreational basketball glory. (Watch the trailer)
Essentially everything about this rec basketball league is eccentric. From the team names (reminiscent of "DodgeBall") - the Princess Lay-Ups, the Lucille Ballers, Space Glam and the L.A. Nail Clippers - to the 'sock report,' a weekly feature of the play-by-play podcast commentary that comments on, well, socks.
But make no mistake: these women take their league seriously. Yes, "Pistol Shrimps" is offbeat and funny but the genuine seriousness these athletes have for their rec league is what gives this documentary credibility. If these players just treated the league as something silly they do for fun, then this doc would have been just a nice visit with some quirky people who happen to play basketball on the side.
"Pistol Shrimps" establishes a sincere camaraderie among the players. While some may be struggling writers and others may be successful actors, they all throw on their crazy socks, rock their jerseys and hit the court every week. They all have day jobs, but the fact that they find a common bond is the heart of this doc.
It also motivates and compels cubicle dwellers to rush out and find their own community. The women's rec league did not exist just a few years ago - but now the league flourishes, offering its players an outlet they may not have had in their normal 9-to-5 grind.
Final verdict: "The Pistol Shrimps" is funny, endearing and inspiring. The documentary revels in the silliness of the league, connects the audience with several players and firmly establishes a true team spirit among its eclectic roster of athletes.
"The Pistol Shrimps" is not yet rated and has a running time of 75 minutes. This film screened at the 42nd Seattle International Film Festival.