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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Bromley Boys is a British comedy about David Roberts (Brenock O'Connor), a soccer club-obsessed teen who never misses a game, idolizes his favorite team's star player, and worries about their losing season. Set during 1969 and 1970, the movie is based on the real Roberts' experiences as a lifelong Bromley supporter. Expect a few insults and British swear words (including "bloody idiot," "git," "t-ts up," etc.), as well as a few soccer injuries, some flirting, and a short kiss. A couple of adults smoke cigars and cigarettes and drink at pubs and parties, but more often folks are simply drinking tea. The movie shows the importance of teamwork and honesty between parents and kids.
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What's the story?
THE BROMLEY BOYS follows David Roberts (Brenock O'Connor), a 15-year-old football (soccer) lover who follows a down-and-out local team that competes way out of the premier league and is having a terrible losing season. Although Dave's father (Alan Davies) forbids talk of football in the house, Dave's mom (Martine McCutcheon) pretends her son is in Boy Scouts so he can attend the Bromley Football Club's games. A die-hard fan, Dave befriends three adult men who share his obsession -- Roy (TJ Herbert), Peter (Mark Dymond), and Derek (Ewen MacIntosh) -- and meets club chairman Charlie's (Jamie Foreman) only daughter, Ruby (Savannah Baker). When Dave ends up in the chairman's office, he comes across confidential notes suggesting that the team's star player is being transferred to a premier-league team. That leads Dave and his buddies on a mission to figure out whether the club's future is in jeopardy.
Is it any good?
Sports fans, not just soccer lovers, will appreciate the intensity of Dave's devotion to his team in this lighthearted British comedy. Based on true events, director Steve Kelly's tribute to following a team that rarely wins isn't as memorable as Fever Pitch or The Damned United, but it's got just enough charm to keep audiences interested. There's no real plot to speak of: Dave tries to impress his new (and much older) football mates, sneaks around the chairman's office for news about the team's future, and obsesses over his favorite player (Ross Anderson) even more than his budding romance with Ruby.
Despite its thin, somewhat silly storyline, there's a simple heart to the film, particularly for viewers who are themselves dedicated to a less-than-stellar sports team. The soundtrack is full of catchy '60s hits like "Dizzy" and songs by the Spencer Davis Group, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, and more, and the wardrobe is hilariously decade-appropriate (expect kids to rejoice that sports-shorts styles have changed since the late '60s). The adult three amigos (also based on real fans) add more comic relief to the proceedings, as does the awkward teen romance. While this is more of a streaming pick than a must-see-in-theaters selection, it's a relatable and serviceable comedy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how The Bromley Boys explores the integrity of supporting a team, even a mediocre or bottom-ranked one. What does it mean to you to be a fan of something? What role does fandom play in your life?
Can you relate to Dave's obsession with his team? Can you imagine following a team even if it consistently loses?
Why do you think sports movies are consistently popular? Which ones are your favorite(s)?
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