The Benchwarmers Movie Poster Image

The Benchwarmers

Dreadful sports comedy is a waste of time.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 80 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Jokes about small people ("midget-boy," "Yoda"); puking; farting; knocking down mailboxes as "batting practice" (this ordained by Reggie Jackson).

Positive role models

Grown-up nerds try to avenge their childhood traumas by taunting children and beating them in baseball games; adults bully children.

Violence

Violence used in the service of sophomoric humor: holding a kid to the ground and farting in his face; baseballs hit chests, heads, crotches, and a bug (Clark eats the splatted dead bug); "ringer" stands on Gus' pitching hand and grinds it with his cleats (we see cuts and bruises on it after); rock hits a young man's crotch; several instances of "t---y twisting"; thrown baseball bats hit players/crowd members, cars, squirrels; a lawnmower runs over a dog (and cuts off fur); eggs hit players.

Sex

Pre-adolescent sexual jokes (titillation over "lesbians," pulling down pants to make baseball players trip); Richie wears a T-shirt that reads: "Everyone loves an Asian boy"; Gus gets in the shower with wife to pee: viewers hear it from offscreen and she expresses disgust; married couple is "trying to get pregnant," and she mentions her ovulation cycle several times; some concepts that might need explaining for younger viewers ("hermaphrodite," effects of steroids (they "make your peepee smaller," a blowup doll); gay jokes; when one character hears how a woman became pregnant, he squirts sunblock from a container to suggest ejaculation.

Language

Frequent obnoxious language, some tiresome ("ass," "s--t," "d--k"), some juvenile ("frickin' ," "you suck," "shut up," "retard!," "Bros before hos," "pig," "spaz," "stinkweeds," "eat me," etc.), some sexed/gendered/homophobic ("t---y twisters," "three muskequeers," "homo," "bitch," "douche-bags."

Consumerism

AOL, Diet Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Skittles, Star Wars figures, Night Rider, Batman, Netzero, Ms. Pacman, Gatorade, PlayStation, Miata (car), Mac laptops.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Unlit cigar; "ringer" drinks beer and tequila and smokes cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Benchwarmers is premised on adult men behaving like angry children. The movie features repeated adolescent jokes. There's some profanity and many sexual references. An adult eats his nose boogers and a bug; bullies fart on target-boys; agoraphobic character mocked repeatedly for being pale (afraid of the sun, whiny, and fearful); joke about urine looking like "apple juice"; one boy spits when he talks (Schneider imitates, supposedly to make boy feel less strange, but mostly to prolong a feeble joke); one coach appears "gay," as if this undermines his macho behavior. The games include slapstick, hard-thwacking violence: bats hit bodies, heads, and squirrels in a tree (sending them flying apparently to their deaths); balls hit bodies, bare hands, and heads.

What's the story?

In THE BENCHWARMERS, athletic landscaper Gus (Rob Schneider), aging video-store clerk Richie (David Spade), and nose-picking newspaper delivery boy Clark (Jon Heder) -- form a baseball team to challenge the bullies who pick on neighborhood nerds. Though Clark can't hit or field and Richie can't hit or catch, Gus is a power hitter and hot-shot pitcher too, and so the Benchwarmers beat all comers. Their self-appointed mission catches the attention of another adult nerd, now a "gazillionaire," Mel (Jon Lovitz), who buys the three players uniforms, a traveling bus, and equipment, and apparently funds the kids who broadcast the games over the net, which allows for repeated shots of other nerd children watching on their laptops.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

An Adam Sandler movie without Adam Sandler, The Benchwarmers offers the worst of all worlds. While nerds all over appear to cheer on the team, the Benchwarmers only recycle the same problems as the nerds face when they are bullied. Beating the bullies plainly humiliates them, but how satisfying can that be? Certainly, the "good teams" players don't deserve the verbal abuses they get from their coaches.

Even if you take the plot as yet another revisitation of the Bad News Bears plot (triumph of the underdogs), the film can't think of an original way to show nerdiness, and so its fundamental signs are as stereotypical and tedious as the meanness displayed by the bullies: Nerds love Star Wars, eat peanut butter and jelly, spend all day at their computers, and, if male, can't talk to girls. "Underdog" sports movies usually make the protagonists endearing; this one makes you hope they lose their games.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the concept of revenge: Is it possible to feel better if you make other people feel badly?

  • How do the Benchwarmers speak for all self-claimed nerds who feel bullied?

  • How does apologizing make Gus feel better than beating all the kids' teams?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 7, 2006
DVD/Streaming release date:July 25, 2006
Cast:Jon Heder, Jon Lovitz, Rob Schneider
Director:Dennis Dugan
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:80 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:crude and suggestive humor and for language.

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Parent of a 13 year old Written byD_Sides December 9, 2010

Great Movie for little kids

Why not for 15? Its tataly age apropriate if your ten! Great movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byImnotateenbutgood September 25, 2012

11 and up

My best friend Henry is on a baseball game because me, my mom and him and his sister and mom can't come. He and sis should be 11 or older to watch this. It's a little funny.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 9 years old May 3, 2010
i loved this movie it is just fine i think they overegajerated a little
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages