Friday Night Lights
is a 2004 film based on the book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, a Dream
by H. G. Bissinger. The film was a critical and financial success, and a television series 'Friday Night Lights
'' followed in 2006. The film is set in Odessa, Texas, and chronicles the 1988 season of the Permian High School Panthers. The film deals with the team's importance to the town and the underlying social and economic issues the players, townspeople, and coaches all deal with on a daily basis. The film won an ESPY award for Best Sports Movie, and Entertainment Weekly places the film at #37 on its list of the Best High School Movies.
Provides Examples Of:
- Abusive Parents: Donnie's father, a washed up ex-star, violently assaults his son on at least two occasions and resent him for not being as good a player as he once was.
- Alliterative Name: Coach Gary Gaines.
- Best Years of Your Life: Adults are quick to remind the players that their current success is the most they will ever have. Summed by one saying: "After high school, it's just babies and memories". However the idea that their current moments are the best they'll have and all that awaits them is nostalgia and bitterness terrifies all of them deeply.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Panthers lose in the state finals. However... a caption at the end of the film reveals that in 1989 - one year after the film's events take place - Permian does go all the way and win the state championship.
- Dawson Casting: Almost all the football players were played by actors in their twenties. Derek Luke, who plays Boobie Miles, was thirty.
- Everything Is Big in Texas: Especially fanaticism over high school football. It's not uncommon for small towns to almost completely shut down on Friday nights in the fall.
- Genre Deconstruction
- Jaded Washout: Donnie's father Charlie. Once a star player, he is now a violent alcoholic angry at life and himself for not living up to his potential, taking his self-hatred out on his son.
- Manly Tears: Absolutely and subverted. When Boobie breaks down to his uncle, it is full on weeping with nothing even resembling stoicism.
- Serious Business: Deconstructed with Football. The extreme passion people in the town have for the sport is implied to make things worse for the team as it is their burden to make the town proud and most of them are fighting enough of their own battles without the pressure of a town's failed dreams on their backs.