Kicking and Screaming (2005)
This family classic timestamps mid-2000s soccer to a tee, when pop culture presented it as a suburban sport for children and a Saturday morning blow-off-some-steam time for the parental units.
It’s cheesy as hell, but Will Ferrell as Phil Weston, a lifelong loser who discovers coffee and becomes a ranting, ignominiously irate soccer dad, somehow makes it all worth it (if you’re watching with the kids, at least).
Phil’s under-8 team is bottom of the barrel in the local rec league until he hires Mike Ditka of the Chicago Bears (playing himself) to motivate his team up the standings. Phil’s father, Buck (Robert Duvall), coaches the Mavericks — the perennial champions — with an iron fist.
In the end it’s a father-son story of failure, redemption, and reconciliation painted haphazardly onto a canvas littered with dad jokes, ethnic jests and, as the title suggests, screaming. The only decent kicking going on is done by two Italian boys scouted by Ditka in a local butcher shop — go figure.
If anything, "Kicking and Screaming" tells you exactly what not to do when your kid’s coach is nowhere to be found at game time and you decide to take matters into your own hands. It can’t be that hard, can it?
Will Ferrell, caffeinated and after a close loss, to his wife: “I am angry. I’m like a tornado of anger! Swirling about!”
“Coffee is the lifeblood that fuels the dreams of champions.” -Mike Ditka
Did you know?
"Kicking and Screaming" grossed $52.8 million in the U.S. and Canada, making it the highest grossing soccer movie of all time. "Bend it like Beckham" grossed $32.5 million.