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Mike Ditka and Will Ferrell in 'Kicking and Screaming'

Movie Info


PG for thematic elements, language and some crude humor


May 13, 2005




Will Ferrell, Robert Duvall, Kate Walsh, Mike Ditka, Musetta Vander


Jesse Dylan


Universal Pictures


Please Note

In providing movie reviews on our site, is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.


Kicking and Screaming

By Elliott Ryan
Guest Reviewer Will Ferrell is a funny man. That will be the conclusion most viewers of Kicking and Screaming will reach as the closing credits roll. They will not be amazed by an original and intricate plot. They also will not be pondering any deep truths about life unveiled during the film. But for most, they will walk away with the opinion that Ferrell is funny.

Kicking and Screaming is Ferrell’s second “family” film. In 2003, the Saturday Night Live alumnus starred as Buddy in the holiday family film Elf. This film is not quite as good as Elf. But it doesn’t really need to be. Ferrell’s manic comedy style is enough to make a viewer not notice the shallowness of the movie’s plot. Ferrell has a comic energy that can make an otherwise unspectacular film entertaining.

Ferrell stars as Phil Weston, an ineffectual soccer dad who comes to learn the true meaning of sportsmanship. Or something like that. Renowned actor Robert Duvall (The Godfather, Apostle, Secondhand Lions) plays Phil’s father Buck, who has tormented Phil all of his life. Buck, the coach of his grandson’s soccer team, is so concerned with victory that he trades his own grandson off the team. Phil ends up volunteering to coach his son’s new team and the family feud is on.

Phil gets some coaching advice from legendary football coach Mike Ditka, who plays himself. The interaction between rookie coach Phil and his hapless team members provide many humorous moments. Phil eventually follows in his father’s footsteps and becomes more concerned with winning than he is with preserving his relationship with his own family.

Will Ferrell and Mike Ditka in 'Kicking and Screaming'While Ferrell’s presence overshadows the other actors, two other performances are also worth nothing. Duvall turns in an excellent comedic performance that will make viewers wish he starred in comedies more often. Ditka, in his first role in a major motion picture, puts in a good performance that shows he may have a career outside of sports in his future.

The MPAA rated this movie PG for “thematic elements, language, and some crude humor.” While it is being hailed as the first family comedy of the summer, there are several aspects of this film that may make parents think twice before taking children to the theater to see it. Several jokes (which may be over your children’s heads anyway) are a bit risqué for family fare. One child on the little league soccer team has two mommies as Hollywood tries once again to make a lifestyle that is rejected by mainstream America as immoral seem commonplace and acceptable. So perhaps this isn’t as much of a family movie as it purports to be.

But hey, that Will Ferrell is a funny man.

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