A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Going for Gold is 2018 movie about a teen who moves to a new place and must prove herself while an uninvolved parent ignores her difficulties. Teenagers kiss. Nasty competitors use psychological warfare to undermine the confidence of a rival cheerleading team. Cheerleading training and competition are the main focuses so the movie will attract kids interested in this sport.
What's the story?
In GOING FOR GOLD Emma's (Kelli Berglund of Disney's Lab Rats) Air Force dad keeps moving, making it difficult for her to make stable, long-lasting friendships. They pick up and relocate to Australia from California, where perky and outgoing Emma immediately meets perky and outgoing Hannah (Emily Morris of Raising the Bar) and A 2nd Chance), who, like Emma, is a gymnast. When gymnastics rival Charlotte (Daisy Anderson) gets Hannah's team disqualified, Emma suggests she switch to cheerleading, exactly what Emma had done back in the States. Hannah and Emma recruit teammates from belly-dancing, hip-hop, soccer, and football, and start to train together. Their first performance is shaky but when Emma shows the leadership to bring the team together, they are able to give a prize-winning performance and even reconcile with the now apologetic Charlotte. Emma and Ethan (Boone Sterck) begin dating and Dad announces they can stay in Australia for longer than originally planned.
Is it any good?
This movie feels like it was dumped straight out of the Lifetime-Nickelodeon-Disney teenage angst Jell-O mold straight onto Netflix. The mold reflects the thinking of some calculating engineering department's checklist: A teen moves somewhere new and has to prove her/his worth and talent through a series of tests and competitions. There is always a villainous rival, a sympathetic new friend, a love interest and, often, a clueless and uninvolved single parent. Going for Gold checks every box, which means not much imagination or creativity was required in the making of this thing. The big decisions? Is the protagonist a boy or a girl, does he/she move to another state or another country, is it gymnastics, bull riding, equestrian jumping, or cheerleading? It doesn't much matter, which is why this movie doesn't much matter, either. Note that the same writer-director, Clay Glen, also created two other movies in the same mold: Raising the Bar and A 2nd Chance.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how difficult it is to pick up and move to a new home for kids and teenagers. Do you think Emma is good at making life adjustments in Going for Gold?
Have you ever had to move? If so, what was the hardest part about it. If you haven't, what do you think would be challenging about starting over somewhere new?
How does this compare to other movies you've seen about cheerleading? Why are there so many movies about this sport?
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