A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Just for Kicks has frequent bullying, name-calling, and and is based on outdated ideas about gender roles. Potty humor abounds as boys pass gas and challenge each other to bare their bottoms to an audience. The tween boys also make sexual comments toward an adult woman who dresses in skimpy clothes and bends over provocatively at various times. The movie does raise the idea of parents who push their kids too hard to succeed at sports.
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What's the story?
Cole and Dylan Sprouse (long before they made a name for themselves on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) play two boys who love soccer. When their father (Tom Arnold), the head coach of their soccer team, has to leave in a hurry to attend to very important business, it is up to their mother and aunt to take over coaching duties. When their mother takes over as coach, things look quite grim for their team, the Terriers, and parents start to pull their kids off the team over the idea of a woman as a soccer coach. But when a mysterious and strange man starts to help Cole and Dylan at random times, with soccer and with life, the team starts to improve, and it starts to look like the team might become soccer champions.
Is it any good?
The sexism on display in JUST FOR KICKS makes it incredible that this movie was released in 2003. As if parents taking their kids off of a soccer team over the idea of a woman being a head coach isn't enough, there's enough bullying, name calling, and sophomoric humor on display to make this a movie to avoid.
Furthermore, for parents and kids looking for a movie about soccer, this movie doesn't even really show that much actual play. While the movie acknowledges problems in youth sports like parents who push their kids too hard to succeed, or kids being taunted on the field, no solutions are really presented.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about women in sports. How does this film address the issue of women coaching sports? Who are some examples of successful women coaches?
Have you seen kids who are pushed too hard by their parents to succeed in sports, or have you seen kids who make mistakes while playing sports made fun of because of it? How realistically does this movie portray these issues?
What do you think this movie's message is about bullying?
- On DVD or streaming: September 16, 2003
- Cast: Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, Tom Arnold
- Director: Sydney J. Bartholomew Jr.
- Studio: MGM/UA
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Brothers and Sisters
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: language, mild crude humor, and momentary violence
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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