KICKING AND SCREAMING (2005)

Just Over the Top

Content -1
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: May 13, 2005

Starring: Will Ferrell, Robert Duvall,
Mike Ditka, Kate Walsh, Josh
Hutcherson, Dylan McLaughlin,
and Museta Vander

Genre: Comedy

Audience: Older children and adults

Rating: PG

Runtime: 95 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Director: Jesse Dylan

Executive Producer: Charles Roven, Judd Apatow and
Daniel Lupi

Producer: Jimmy Miller

Writer: Leo Benvenuti and Steve
Rudnick

Address Comments To:

Bob Wright, Chairman/CEO
NBC Universal
Ron Meyer, President/COO
Vivendi Universal Entertainment
Stacey Snider, Chairman
Universal Pictures
Universal Studios
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com

Content:

(BB, PC, Ho, LL, V, S, N, A, D, M) Ultimately moral message about doing the right thing, overcoming egotism and pride, and caring for your neighbor, with light politically correct elements regarding a lesbian couple; about 18 obscenities and three profanities; lots and lots of slapstick violence including adult pushing kids, adult being hit by tether ball and slugged by coach, and several balls hitting males in the groin; no overt sexual content, wife kisses husband in a loving but non passionate way several times and lesbian parents used for comic effect, although they are not ridiculed; upper male nudity showing bruises from tether ball game; alcohol; smoking rebuked and coffee used as a comic device for hero who uses it as a drug; and, lying rebuked, screaming, yelling, and cheating.

Summary:

Will Farrell stars in KICKING AND SCREAMING as a gentle vitamin store owner who becomes too competitive while coaching his son’s soccer team, which happens to be in competition against the team coached by Phil’s gung-ho father, played by Robert Duvall. KICKING AND SCREAMING is hilarious and has a wonderful moral message for fathers, but it is peppered with some obscenities.

Review:

KICKING AND SCREAMING is hilarious. Critics who complained about another sports movie before the movie started were laughing uproariously at the critic screening.

In the story, Will Farrell plays Phil Weston, a gentle New Agey vitamin store owner whose gentleness is in reaction to his gung-ho, relentlessly competitive father, Buck, played by Robert Duvall. When Phil accidentally meets a beautiful girl and gets engaged, he comes home to find his father is marrying a buxom young girl from the supermarket checkout counter. The day his son Sam is born, Phil’s baby brother, Bucky, is born. Bucky has all the competitive traits of his father, Buck; while Sam spends his time warming the bench.

When Buck trades his grandson, Sam, to the worst team in the local soccer league, Phil decides to become the coach. He brings Buck’s competitive neighbor, Mike Ditka, played by the real Mike Ditka, on board to coach the team. Phil learns how to drink coffee and eat meat, so he can be highly competitive. The soccer game becomes all about him and his father. He even recruits two young Italian soccer stars to play on his team. Eventually, he has to confront the fact that he’s gone over the top and that he’s losing his son, the team and his wife.

KICKING AND SCREAMING has a wonderful moral message for fathers. It also has some of the most brilliant comedy ever. The timing is superb, and the actors and director are to be commended. Will Ferrell is brilliant, as is Robert Duvall.

That said, the movie regrettably is peppered with obscenities, mainly from Mike Ditka. He is a surprisingly good actor, but a lot of the action and comedy is improvised, and those improvisation included words that should not be used in a PG movie. Another annoying point is the portrayal of a lesbian couple. Like many Hollywood movies, this perversity is portrayed as normal.

The good news, however, is that this movie is about fathers and sons learning to love each other, and there is a very strong emotional arc to the movie. Thus, in the final analysis, KICKING AND SCREAMING is a slightly guilty pleasure that is just over the top of the goal.

In Brief:

Will Farrell stars in KICKING AND SCREAMING as Phil Weston, a gentle vitamin store owner whose gentleness is a reaction to his gung-ho, relentlessly competitive father, Buck, played by Robert Duvall. Phil meets a beautiful girl and gets engaged, but he comes home to find his father is marrying a buxom young girl from the supermarket checkout counter. The day his son Sam is born, Phil’s baby brother, Bucky, is born. Bucky has all the competitive traits of his father, Buck; while Sam spends his time warming the bench. When Buck trades Sam to the worst local soccer team, Phil decides to be the coach. Phil becomes too competitive and eventually must face the fact he’s losing his son, the team and his wife.

KICKING AND SCREAMING has a wonderful moral message for fathers. It also is hilarious. Will Ferrell and Robert Duvall are brilliant. Regrettably, the movie is peppered with obscenities, mostly coming from a neighbor, and some of the slapstick comedy is over the top. The good news, however, is that this movie is about fathers and sons learning to love each other, and the story has strong emotional appeal.