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Kevin James, Taylor Lautner Star in Family Sports Comedy, HOME TEAM, ‘It’s Really About What Is Important In Life’

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Kevin James, Taylor Lautner Star in Family Sports Comedy, HOME TEAM, ‘It’s Really About What Is Important In Life’

By Movieguide® Staff

Actor and comedian Kevin James suited up as former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in the new family-friendly movie, HOME TEAM, streaming now on Netflix. 

The movie is based on the true story of Payton, who returns home to coach his son’s 6th-grade football team after the NFL suspended him for the entire 2012 season as a result of his role in the Saints’ Bountygate scandal.

The sport’s comedy highlights the hopeful story of a seemingly down-and-out coach who decides to use his time to rekindle his relationship with his family. 

“Filming during these times, it was difficult with the COVID and all that but we got through everything and I’m happy to be part of this story,” James told Movieguide®. “Especially now because I think people need, families need this type of entertainment and something to give people hope. That’s exactly what the story is about.”

“It’s about a guy who, some tough stuff happens in his life, and he chooses to make something greater from it,” he continued. “It’s exactly what Sean did in improving the relationship with his son and his family. He claims that it’s the greatest coaching of football he’s ever done… and that’s coming from a guy who’s won a Super Bowl.”

James acted alongside his real-life brother, Gary Valentine, and the sibling duo of HOME TEAM directors Charles Kinnane and Daniel Kinnane added to the feeling of family on set, the PAUL BLART: MALL COP actor said. 

Taylor Lautner, known for his role in the TWILIGHT series, said that it felt like a family reunion on set. 

“This really was like a dream project that was surreal for me because I’ve been friends with Sean for the past 10-12 years,” Lautner told Movieguide®. “To be asked to be a part of the telling of his story was just super cool… this was a perfect scenario and just an incredible story that not many people know about.”

At the heart of HOME TEAM is Payton’s desire to reconnect with his son, something that James admires about the story. 

“It’s really about what’s important in life,” the HERE COMES THE BOOM actor said. “It took a suspension and a year stoppage to have Sean think about his life and regroup. He could have done it anywhere… he’s got plenty of money… [but] he chose to say, ‘Hey I’m going to make the relationship with my son better and that’s what he did.”

“He went back there… and he spent the season there and spent that whole year there taking this team, enriching these kids’ lives, and teaching them what he knows,” James continued. “It’s really cool and sweet, it’s an amazing story.”

A portion of Movieguide®’s review reads

HOME TEAM is a delightful family comedy on Netflix. Sean Payton, the coach of the New Orleans Saints, is at the top of his game. His team just won the Super Bowl. However, he’s suspended in 2012 when he’s accused of paying his players to injure players on other teams. Sean decides to spend time with his son, Connor and sees that Connor’s football team needs lots of help. However, Connor isn’t pleased to see his dad, because Sean hasn’t spent much time with Connor since Sean’s divorce. Will Sean be able to coach Connor’s ragtag group of middle schoolers to become a winning team? Will Connor forgive his father?

Based on a true story, HOME TEAM is funny, enjoyable and inspiring. It has a strong moral worldview of reconnecting with your family. The main character learns he must be present in his child’s life and that will be the biggest blessing in his own life. The movie shows the son’s stepfather is a New Age hippie, but his goofy beliefs are used for comic relief. Also, there’s some light cursing in HOME TEAM.

Watch the full interview below: