GOAL! THE DREAM BEGINS
Starring: Kuno Becker, Stephen Dillane,
Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel,
and Marcel Lures
Audience: Older children, teenagers and
Runtime: 117 minutes
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures/Buena
Vista/Walt Disney Company
Director: Danny Cannon
Executive Producer: Lawrence Bender and Peter
Producer: Mike Jefferies, Matt Barrelle
and Mark Huffam
Writer: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais,
Mike Jefferies, and Adrian
Address Comments To:Robert Iger, President/CEO
The Walt Disney Company
(Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, and Buena Vista Distribution)
Dick Cook, Chairman
The Walt Disney Studios
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
Santiago Muñez illegally immigrates to Los Angeles as a young boy and is raised by his father and grandmother. His father believes strongly in working hard to provide for your family. His father tells Santiago to live a good life and then die a good and honorable man, but he refuses to support Santiago in his love of soccer nor believe in his son's dreams. He even refuses to see his son play the game. He works to force his son to enter into a gardening business together. He even goes to great lengths to dissuade his son from pursuing his dream. Santiago's faithful Catholic grandmother instills in him values and the importance of being a man of Christian character and integrity.
A soccer-loving scout from England, Glen Foy, sees Santiago play and provides him with a path to his dream. All Santiago has to do is get to England.
Once Santiago makes it to England, the scout takes care of him. The scout goes out of his way to give Santiago the opportunity to show his talents and make it. Santiago meets a girl, Roz, and develops a relationship with her. He shows loyalty and depicts the positive message of monogamy.
GOAL! is very engaging. Viewers can easily identify with the plight of all the characters. The subtitles were not distracting, but this would impact the enjoyment for young children who are not fluent readers.
The messages in GOAL! are so positive and important for today's youths. As Santiago goes to England in pursuit of his goal of playing in England's premier league where the soccer stars are heroes, he is forced to make a choice. He must choose between a selfish and self-satisfying lifestyle with alcohol, parties and women, or hold true to his beliefs and his strong foundation of faith. Despite the costs and risks of holding firm, he holds steadfast to his beliefs, even when it means he loses friends and money to do so. In the end, Santiago impacts the life of those around him by his steadfast stand for his own integrity and character and belief system. The movie's strong references to Santiago's Christian, Catholic faith and how it molds his behavior and person as a whole are also aspects of this movie that are incredibly positive.
The importance of these messages to today's youths cannot be understated. Watching a movie where you can identify with a hero who is unwilling to sell out, even when it hurts, isn't popular, and endangers his dream, teaches young people that it is possible to live life and not sell out to what may appear popular. In fact, GOAL! clearly shows that living with integrity can become popular. It also shows redemptive elements as the father deals with his rejection of his son and his son comes to terms with his father as well. Even though this film was a little slow at times, the positive elements and relationship with the characters will leave most viewers feeling uplifted. There are a couple of very famous soccer players who make cameo appearances in the movie as well.
GOAL! is a delightful, morally uplifting movie. Naturally gifted, Santiago's talent on the soccer field finally receives its due. Through most of it, Santiago maintains his Catholic, Christian faith. Brief foul language, implied sexual content and other elements require some caution, however.