Review: 'Secretariat'

(Two-and-a-half stars)

(To the tune of "Mister Ed":)

We've had us a film about a horse.

"Seabiscuit" got Oscar nods, of course.

So another race horse on us they'll force: "Secretariat"!

Directed by him that wrote "Braveheart"

But written by somebody else, with "heart":

Disney schmaltz, more "pop" than art ..."Secretariat"!

Diane Lane's the dame, the horse she'll claim as Penny Chenery;

For eccentric kitsch, John Malkovich, a trainer with esprit!

Middle-classy docudrama's fine,

And "I Am Woman" as theme defined,

She shows the malign she'll win ev'ry time, with Secretariat!

A spoiler alert: so eyes avert!

The horse and his mistress hit pay dirt.

Though Failure flirts, a Triple Crown spurt for Secretariat!

People yakkity yak a streak; cliches they do accrue

If only they were like Mister Ed, and talked like real people do!

Phony suspense and corn perforce,

The flick serves sports "history" as main course.

But for fam'ly fun, do I endorse?

Well, listen to this:

See "Secretariat."

Rated PG for brief mild language. 2 hours, 2 minutes.

— Peter Canavese

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