A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that My Dad Is a Soccer Mom is a family movie originally made for television (UPtv). In this African-American take on the "Mr. Mom" genre, a loudmouth professional football player loses his job and finds himself in unfamiliar "soccer mom" territory. It's a comedy from top to bottom, loaded with earnest observations about father-daughter relationships, the importance of committing to parenting, and the consequences of arrogance. The thin plot serves as a platform for the messages and the over-the-top, farcical performance of its star, Lester Speight. Although the story tries to explode gender stereotyping, it occasionally falls back on some standard jokes and references to traditional male and female roles. Football star Terrell Owen plays the role of a womanizer who tries to seduce a married mom.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Professional footballer Marion "Mad Dog" Casey (Lester Speight) is astonished when his contract is not renewed by the Atlanta Shocks in MY DAD IS A SOCCER MOM. A classic grandstanding, arrogant hothead, Mad Dog is further stunned when no other team wants him. Wife Holly (Wendy Raquel Robinson) tries to see the bright side: Maybe it's a good time for him to take a break and spend some quality time with their shy, socially awkward daughter Lacy (Skai Jackson). Lacy desperately needs Marion's attention and his time. Not only that, Holly wants to reestablish her long-ignored interior design business, so this break will give her a chance to try. At first Marion is reluctant, then annoyed, then inept, but as he comes to know his daughter better and find out who she truly is, the soft, loving side of Marion emerges. With soccer as the primary source of bonding, Dad, daughter, and Mom find new joy in family and love.
Is it any good?
Though not memorable overall, the movie has some strong performances. Skai Jackson, a bright, natural actress and comic, and Wendy Raquel Robinson save this otherwise predictable and unprofessional effortAlso Lester Speight good-naturedly hams it up with a likable, cartoonish performance. The messages are earnest but familiar: Dads matter; moms can find a balance between work and family; kids are resilient and instinctively joyful. It's a shame that in boosting soccer as the means of connection, the filmmakers chose to knock the arts, specifically dance and theater, rather than simply identifying Lacy's previously unacknowledged enthusiasm for sports. The writing and direction are weak throughout, and the movie's abrupt ending, leading to an off-story comic press conference, is sketchy and confusing. Still, the simplicity of the plot, the strength of the two lead actresses, and some outlandish comedy may appeal to kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about stereotypical male and female roles. Why do you think the filmmakers chose traditional occupations for their characters?
Look up the term "fish-out-of-water comedy." Why is this movie genre so much fun to watch? Can you imagine yourself trying to live in a world totally unfamiliar to you? Create (write or draw) a place in which you would be a "fish out of water," and show what it might feel like.
Talk about this movie's definition of a "pot of gold" at the end of a rainbow. What is your pot of gold? How can you work toward finding it?
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