Double Teamed

Movie review by
Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media
Double Teamed Movie Poster Image
Positive true story of twin girls' rise to pro basketball.
  • NR
  • 2002
  • 92 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The movie is intended to entertain rather than educate. However, there are a number of positive messages that younger viewers can learn from.

Positive Messages

The movie teaches the importance of teamwork, perseverance, sacrifice, and staying true to yourself. It also acknowledges the difference between being supportive and putting people under pressure. Encourages pursuing ones dreams.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both Heather and Heidi are competitive to the point that they try to sabotage each other. Sometimes Heather behaves arrogantly and Heidi jealously, but they learn to support each other. Other members of the team bully them because of their talent and because they have less money, causing Heidi to lie about where they live in order to fit in. The twins' mother, Mary, is caring and puts their wellbeing first, both encouraging them and consoling them. But their father, Larry, puts pressure on them to prioritize sport in order to get a college scholarship.

Violence & Scariness

Players occasionally target each other on the basketball court, elbowing and knocking people to the ground. One scene involves a fall and a badly twisted ankle, as well as an injured arm.

Sexy Stuff

One scene of playful flirtation between members of the girls' basketball team and the school jock.

Language

Occasional derogatory terms such as "geek" and "weird."

Consumerism

The neighborhood of Heather and Heidi's new school is rich and there are large mansions with pools and expensive cars.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Double Teamed is a family sports-drama Disney TV movie inspired by the real-life story of the Burge twins, who went on to play professional basketball in the WNBA. The movie traces their school days, where the girls are competitive with each other. For example, Heather (Poppi Monroe) often puts her sister, Heidi (Annie McElwain) down by saying "once second best, always second best." A lot of pressure is placed on them by their father, who forces them to move schools for better sports facilities, and doesn't allow Heidi to take part in a school play, signing her for basketball instead. There are instances of bullying on the team -- terms such as "geek" and "weird" are used -- and players elbow each other and knock each other to the ground. Though there is a lot of pressure, the movie is ultimately about hard work and dedication, and putting differences aside to support fellow players -- there is no winning without teamwork.

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What's the story?

DOUBLE TEAMED is the true story about twins Heather (Poppi Monroe) and Heidi Burge (Annie McElwain) and their rise to the WNBA. Pushed by their father Larry (Nick Searcy) the twins are sent to a school in a rich neighborhood that offers a great sports program -- selling up their family home and moving them into a tiny apartment. The sisters soon join the school's basketball team. But not all members of the team are happy being overshadowed by the new recruits. As the team enters an important competition that could catch the attention of college scouts, the twins must stop competing with each other and bring the team together to succeed.

Is it any good?

The movie follows the familiar story of a pushy parent walking the line between supporting their children's talent and taking over their life. Though Heather is clearly motivated from the start, Heidi is often portrayed as someone who may have chosen a different path for herself, which takes away from a straightforward "hard work pays off" or "triumph over adversity" narrative. The sports scenes are well executed, and the supporting cast score strong performances. But lazy stereotypes, such as the rich kid whose competitive nature stems from a lack of attention at home, makes the characters feel formulaic.

The main family fails to muster the energy that might have elevated Double Teamed, although the love-hate relationship between the sisters rings true. The plot dribbles along, rolling into clichés as it goes. But it's saved last-minute by a dramatic, high-stakes game in which characters make sacrifices and step up their performance to create a grand finale with a feel-good message and an inspirational nod to future success.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea of playing on a team as portrayed in Double Teamed. Why do some of the players act badly towards each other? What makes a good team player? Why is teamwork such an important character strength and how can it be applied outside of sport? How can I use media to teach my kid teamwork?

  • The movie is based on a true story. Would you like to see more movies about girls and sports? Why do you think there aren't as many as movies about boys and sports? Watching gender: how stereotypes in movies and on TV impact kids' development. 

  • In what ways are the twins different, and what similarities do they have? Talk about your own relationships with your siblings. What makes you similar? What makes you different?

  • What does the twins' father learn during the movie? What do you think is the overall message of the film?

Movie details

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