Kicking & Screaming (2005 film)
|Kicking & Screaming|
|Directed by||Jesse Dylan|
|Produced by||Jimmy Miller
|Written by||Leo Benvenuti
|Music by||Mark Isham|
|Cinematography||Lloyd Ahern II|
|Edited by||Stuart H. Pappé
Mosaic Media Group
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Phil Weston (Will Ferrell), is an average person who had to endure his father Buck Weston's (Robert Duvall) over-competitiveness throughout his childhood, an upbringing which has left permanent mental scars. Now middle-aged and married, with a young son named Sam, Phil runs a small vitamin store, while Buck operates a local chain of sports stores.
Buck is coach of the Gladiators, the most successful little-league soccer team in the district. Sam is on Buck's soccer team, but to his dad's annoyance his grandfather keeps him on the bench, a humiliation he also visited upon his son decades prior. Buck eventually transfers Sam to the Tigers, the league's worst team.
At Sam's first game with his new team their coach is absent. Rather than forfeit, Phil decides to coach the team, a position he takes up permanently. However, despite Phil's best efforts the team does not seem to improve. In desperation Phil recruits Mike Ditka (played by himself), who is Buck's neighbor and hated enemy. Enticed by the opportunity to beat Buck, Ditka accepts the position. Despite grueling training, the team continues to lose.
Ditka introduces Phil to two exceptionally talented Italian boys working in a local butcher's shop. Phil succeeds in gaining their Uncle's permission for them to play for the Tigers. They have an immediate impact, scoring repeatedly. The resulting winning streak makes them serious contenders in the league. After finally winning a couple of games and Phil said that his team was going to go to the finals, Phil and Buck make a bet, if the Gladiators win then Phil would sell his store and work for Buck. If the Tigers win then Buck would hand over his most prized possession, 'The Pele Ball', a soccer ball struck by the famous player which Phil caught as a child and Buck took from him.
Meanwhile, Ditka also introduces Phil to coffee, which rapidly changes him from a mild-mannered caring dad, to an obnoxious, over-competitive coach, not that different from his father, abusing kids and parents alike. The team's mantra becomes "Get the ball to the Italians", which, though effective, demoralizes his team. In the ultimate over-competitive act he benches his own son for the entire semi-final game.
The Tigers make it to the finals where they face off against the Gladiators. At half-time, the score is two-one to the Gladiators. In a heart-to-heart discussion with his son, Phil realizes the error of his ways. He tells his team to do exactly the opposite of what he taught them. Although the Gladiators score one more goal after half-time, they don't give up hope. Phil gives the goalie a vision test with glasses from the crowd. From there, Ambrose scores one goal—making the score three-two. After another goal, the score is tied. The team rallys and produces a spectacular team performance to win 4-3, with Sam scoring the winning goal against his uncle Bucky (played by a young Josh Hutcherson), (Buck's child who was born on the exact day as Sam) using a move that he practiced when his dad benched him in the semi-finals.
Honoring the bet, Buck tries to give Phil the ball, but Phil refuses. Making peace with his father, they merge their businesses, realizing there is more to life than winning.
The film ends with an adapted version of the "He's Got Balls" commercial originally produced by Buck. In it, the entire Tigers team appear, announcing the merger of Phil's vitamin shop--Phil's Pills--and Buck's Sporting Goods Store. The team shouts, after the "He's got balls" line, "And vitamins."
- Will Ferrell as Phil Weston
- Robert Duvall as Buck Weston
- Mike Ditka as Himself
- Kate Walsh as Barbara Weston
- Musetta Vander as Janice Weston
- Dylan McLaughlin as Sam Weston
- Josh Hutcherson as Bucky Weston
- Francesco Liotti as Gianpiero
- Alessandro Ruggiero as Massimo
- Elliott Cho as Byong Sun Hogan-Jones
- David Herman as Referee
- Rachael Harris as Ann Hogan
- Dallas McKinney as Connor (Goalie)
- Peter Jason as Clark
- Randall May as Cornell Soccer consultant( uncredited)
- Phill Lewis as John Ryan
- Karly Rothenberg as Jack's Mom
- Alex Borstein as Obnoxious Hummer Lady (uncredited)
- Jeremy Bergman as Hunter Davidson
- Erik Walker as Ambrose Hanna
- Steven Anthony Lawrence as Mark Avery
- Laura Kightlinger as Donna Jones
- Sammy Fine as Jack Watson
- Timmy Deters as Alex
- Joseph R. Sicari as Umberto
- Stephen Rudrick as Young Ceeb
- Stasi Glenn as Butcher shop employee
Kicking & Screaming received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 41%, based on 138 reviews, with the consensus reading: "The script is mediocre and fails to give Ferrell a proper comedic showcase." On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 45 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Roger Ebert gave the film 3/4 stars, saying that it was "an entertaining family movie". David Palmer gave the film 3.5/5 stars, saying that Ferrell and the film were much funnier than "a PG-rated kids film has any right being".
Kicking and Screaming earned $52,842,724 domestically and $3,227,709 from the worldwide box office for a total gross revenue of $56,070,433, against it $45 million budget.
Awards and nominations
2005 Golden Raspberry Awards
- Nominated in 2005: Ferrell nominated for Worst Actor for Bewitched and Kicking & Screaming
Teen Choice Awards
- 2005: Choice Movie, Actor; Ferrell nominated for Comedy, for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Kicking & Screaming
- 2005: Choice Movie, Hissy Fit; Ferrell for Kicking & Screaming
- 2005: Choice Movie Sleazebag; for Ferrell in Kicking & Screaming
- "Rotten Tomatoes". Uk.rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2014-09-03.
- "Kicking and Screaming at Box Office Mojo". Boxofficemojo.com. 2005-08-04. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
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