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Round of Your Life

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
Round of Your Life Movie Poster Image
Irreverent humor lifts teen faith film about family tragedy.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 91 minutes

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

Positive Messages

Clear faith-related messages. Talent may be God-given, but it's up to you (and hard work, focus, and sacrifice) to determine whether you'll be great. Miracles don't always appear in their expected form. Texting and driving are a deadly combination. Themes include humility, perseverance, teamwork.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lead characters are all worthy role models. Taylor and Tucker demonstrate a supportive brotherly bond. Both also exemplify pursuing a romantic relationship with respect and patience. Coach Wilson is tough but fair. But careers are often associated with ethnicities/races/genders in a stereotypical way: a black coach, a black pastor, an Indian physician, a female nurse, a stay-at-home mom.

Violence

A serious car crash puts a father's life in jeopardy.

Sex

Focus on romantic relationships, with several instances of flirting and some kisses that qualify as "making out." Girls are referred to as "hot" and "sexy."

Language

A few uses of curse words, often followed with recognition that the word was out of line: "crappy," "dammit," "kicking ass," "pissed." Also put-downs, often said in a joking manner: "captain doucher," "dummy," "jerk," "power tool," and "stupid."

Consumerism

A few brands are mentioned, including Calloway, Drakkar Noir, Facebook, and Netflix.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Round of Your Life is more likely to appeal to teens than some heavier faith-based fare. It's light on preachiness and full of good-natured razzing, and the day-to-day life of a teen golf athlete at a private Christian high school feels based in reality (albeit an upper middle class version of reality). Prayer and talk of God come during life's challenging moments -- in this case, a father in a coma after a car crash -- but half of the film is also about the things that matter to teens: making the team, winning games, getting a girl to like you. Main character Taylor (Evan Hara) has an enviably close relationship with his brother that demonstrates how siblings can support each other while also teasing each other mercilessly. The film dives into the pressures that parents put on kids to succeed and how tough it can be to live in the shadow of successful family members. While there are clear themes of humility, teamwork, and perseverance, there's also some language ("crappy," "dammit," "kicking ass," etc.), a slight leering attitude toward women (as well as some kissing/making out), and career/role-related stereotyping. The film's life-threatening car crash will help send a "don't text and drive" message to teens.

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What's the story?

In ROUND OF YOUR LIFE, Taylor Collins (Evan Hara) is tired of growing up in the shadow of his golf champion father, Carl (Boo Arnold), and rookie pro golfer brother, Tucker (Tim Ogletree), so he whiffs his school golf team tryouts on purpose. But when Carl is in a terrible car accident, Taylor tries to redeem himself in the eyes of his coach, his team, and, hopefully, his father. 

Is it any good?

Faith-based films often struggle with humor, but writer/co-star Ogletree gives this film about a family tragedy a light, likable touch. As an actor, Ogletree's goofy, smart aleck energy has a lovable sincerity (think Jason Sudeikis meets Steve Zahn) that lights up the screen. His irreverent voice comes through in the writing, and his contagious personality clearly influenced the other actors' performances: He elevates the entire production. And if RIchard T. Jones wasn't on your radar before, he will be now, thanks to his standout performance as a tough but caring golf coach.

The script of Round of Your Life doesn't completely avoid cheese, but don't assume that you know where the story is going: There's a double plot twist. The filmmakers also deserve kudos for making a movie about golf, a sport that doesn't get its due on the big screen despite its popularity. One big complaint is the score: Its poignant guitar pluckings sound like hold music. But on the whole, as a youth group movie night choice, this one is a winner.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the pressures that parents or others may put on kids. Do you think parents need to push to help their kids succeed? Is there a better way to encourage kids to take advantage of their talents or opportunities?

  • The filmmakers of Round of Your Life say they set out to make a "faith-based film for people who don't watch them." What do you think that means? Do you think they succeeded?

  • Who are the role models in the movie? What are their character strengths? What are the examples of teamwork in the film? How does Tucker demonstrate perseverance? How does that tie into success? 

  • Did you notice any stereotyping in the film? Why is stereotyping a concern?

  • What did you think of the brothers' relationship in the film? Did it feel realistic? How does it compare to your own sibling relationships?

Movie details

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