The Long Shot (2004)
Okay. All right. Let's talk about this. Let's start with the poster: Arab-y looking thing in a poorly fitting halter, running freeeeee in the background behind a woman with her child in Western tack wandering along a ridgeline. Think about for a moment what kind of movie you would expect this to be, based on that poster. Imagine some plot and character details, setting, etc.
So now let me tell you that this movie is about a woman who rides dressage. She moves to California with her loser husband and her diamond in the rough Grand Prix horse, who promptly abandons her and her daughter to live in a motel. She gets a job working for a legendary trainer, mucking stalls, teaching lessons, etc., and overcomes a series of setbacks on her way to being the feistest, cleverest, horse whispering-est horse expert ever.
It's available on Netflix streaming, and while it is one of the most ridiculous movies I have ever seen (see below for a handful of non-spoilery things that actually happen) it is weirdly watchable. I rarely sit through full movies these days and I watched the whole thing. With lots of chocolate. And lots of incredulous texting to Hannah.
So let's go over just a very small, not even all that dramatic things that happen in this movie. Multiply all of these together by 10 and you will have the equivalent one of at least three major totally loony plot twists.
- They drive cross-country from Colorado to California with a horse in a trailer, and when they pull up to the motel she decides she'll take her horse for a ride, so she does. For, like, HOURS, judging by the movie's internal chronology.
- At one point, she starts riding the trainer's difficult horses in the middle of the night and then gets all huffy when the trainer is pissed off that she has done so, because clearly she's fixing everything, stop being mean!
- She and the loser husband use her (never shown, as far as I can tell) horse as collateral for the loan they have to take out to move across the country. She is surprised and deeply offended when the loan comes due, and writes a nice letter to the bank manager that will clearly solve everything. (Spoiler alert: it doesn't.)
It is amazing that this movie was written, filmed, edited, and then actually released. It is the very cheesiest kind of cheese, riddled with ridiculous horsemanship that has the veneer like they actually researched some of it - maybe they read a few articles on dressage at least halfway through, anyway.