A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Sandlot 3: Heading Home is a 2007 movie in which a selfish pro baseball player goes back in time to learn the value of teamwork and selfless play. This film features some immature kid behavior: sneaking into a movie theater, breaking into an abandoned house, stealing baseball equipment. There's infrequent mild profanity ("crap," "fat ass"), but what's more prevalent is juvenile name-calling ("turd mouth," "buttfaces," etc.) between the kids. The overweight player is a frequent source of fat-shaming jokes. The lead character faces off against the bully of the rival team, and they engage in a series of back-and-forth insults culminating in the bully making fun of the lead character for having a mom who is dying of cancer. Kids discuss kicking a kid in the "nuts" and "family jewels" as a way to make him regain consciousness. There's the inevitable scene of kid getting hit in the groin by an errant pitch, falling to the ground, and then talking in a "helium" voice. A manager chews chewing tobacco. The larger lesson that Tommy learns is that he doesn't always have to be bigger and better, and that he doesn't have to be a jerk to be successful.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Cocky and arrogant, baseball player Tommy Santorelli (Luke Perry) jumps from team to team, looking for the biggest paycheck. Tommy needs an attitude adjustment, and he gets it in the form of a baseball to his noggin. When he awakens, he's 13 years old again, playing in the sandlot in his hometown. This was where he sold out the first time: to make it to a baseball prep school, he switches teams and ensures that the beloved sandlot will be torn down. But this time, he has a chance to do it differently. Can he put friendship first this time?
Is it any good?
There are so many delightful things about this film, even if it borrows most of its plot from other films. Yet predictable plot twists are handled with such a kind heart and light touch by director William Dear that you hardly mind. The film is effective and fun, and for kids who've never seen the earlier films, they're likely to want to see them immediately.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Tommy's transformation. Do you ever feel pressure to sell out your friends to get something you really want? Do you ever want something so badly that you're willing to do anything and hurt anyone to do it?
How does this compare to other baseball or underdog movies?
Why do you think Hollywood releases so many sequels, and why are they almost never as good as the original?
- In theaters: May 1, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: May 1, 2007
- Cast: Danny Nucci, Keanu Pires, Luke Perry
- Director: William Dear
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Friendship
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: language and some rude humor.
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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