This blog post about LUCAS (1986) is the third of three posts that discuss unique movies about the sport of American football.
The romantic comedy and drama movie LUCAS stars Corey Haim as a precocious child named Lucas. Lucas appreciates nature and classical music. He is intelligent but prejudged by others because of his appearance. He is small in stature and on the surface unpretentious. Because of these qualities, aside from students in the school marching band, other teenagers do not socialize with him.
Maggie (Kerri Green) is new in town and meets Lucas during the summer break before school starts. Lucas introduces Maggie to bugs and classical music. Maggie introduces Lucas to tennis and gives him a ride in her convertible car. One-on-one these friends make a great pair, but Lucas desires more.
Eventually, Maggie meets other teenagers in the community, including Cappie (Charlie Sheen). Maggie develops feelings for Cappie, who Lucas calls “superficial,” and Cappie is attracted to Maggie, but has a cheerleader girlfriend named Alise (Courtney Thorne-Smith). When Cappie suggests Maggie become a cheerleader, Alise gets angry at him.
Lucas thinks cheerleading is as superficial as football. However, he puts energy into capturing Maggie and joins the school’s football team. He makes this decision based on observing Maggie’s admiration for football player Cappie. Ironically, Lucas focuses on football and Maggie, but does not notice his marching band classmate Rina (Winona Ryder) likes him.
The football coach (Guy Boyd) obviously does not want Lucas on the team, but Lucas shows up to practice in uniform quoting laws about how he is supposed to be given a fair opportunity. No one takes Lucas seriously and he ends up in Principal Kaiser’s (Garrett M. Brown) office, creating his own superficial circumstances by telling the principal his father is a lawyer. Truthfully, Lucas’ father is an alcoholic and he does not live in the affluent neighborhood he takes Maggie to during summer break. Rina already knows these aspects about Lucas’ life, but he does not spend time with her outside of band class. Instead he chooses to impress cheerleader Maggie whom he has no chance of romancing.
LUCAS is not just about football, but the sport does represent a fair portion of the story. In Lucas’ perspective football players and cheerleaders are superficial, yet he uses the sport to get what he wants. Unfortunately, Maggie never returns his affections, but his bravery in playing the sport, risking physical injuries garners him respect from his peers.