This movie's message is, simply put, don't go living in the past or the present may very well run over you like a very large lineman. Initially, it would appear that the movie glamourizes those bright college days, full of football heroism & social ascendancy on campus, but it becomes apparent soon enough that the film's main characters are real losers in the larger game of life. Jessica Lange in particular plays a southern belle who, as her life progresses, realizes that life really isn't a Homecoming dance, and that the culture that once put her on a pedastel has, in the long run, really screwed her over by limiting her options. Ahh, the life of the trophy wife. Meanwhile, Dennis Quaid (whose smart-alecky persona normally drives me crazy) comes across as a total loser in the bigger picture, as he remains mired in the increasingly long-ago glory days of his youth, unable to cope with his present-day, beer-gut-ridden life of mediocrity. Ahh, the life of a has-been athlete.
Meanwhile, the characters that remained on the fringes in the good old days focused on what they might do in the future rather than dwelling in the past, and had much more meaningful lives as a result. This is all very gratifying for people who weren't high school football heroes or prom queens. While not a great film, this is a pretty good film, and a worthy antidote for excessive exposure to rampant nostalgia.