Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dennis Dugan|
|Produced by||Adam Sandler
|Written by||Allen Covert
|Music by||Waddy Wachtel|
|Edited by||Peck Prior
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$65 million|
The Benchwarmers is a 2006 American sports-comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan. It stars Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Jon Heder. It is produced by Revolution Studios and Happy Madison Productions and is distributed by Columbia Pictures.
Gus Matthews, Richie Goodman, and Clark Reedy are three adult "nerds"; Clark and Richie were the unpopular children who were constantly bullied and were always left on the bench at their baseball games, because of their athletic abilities. When a nerdy boy named Nelson and his friends are kicked off a nearby baseball diamond by a team of bullies, Gus and Clark chase the bullies away. When Gus and Clark return with Richie to play again and get back their feel for the game, the bullies return and demand that they leave. Gus challenges the bullies to play them for the field, and the three friends, despite Clark and Richie's poor abilities, win the game. Days later, one of Clark and Richie's bullies, Brad, challenges them to another baseball game with his team, but the three friends win again
Later, Nelson's billionaire father, Mel, tells the trio that he is impressed with their wins, and explains his plan to hold a round-robin with all the mean spirited little league teams in the state, plus their team. The winners will be given access to a new multi-million dollar baseball park that he is building. Wanting to capture the spirit and fun they never had when they were kids, the three decide to form the Benchwarmers and join the tournament. They prepare to compete with all the other teams, despite the fact that they are three adults squaring off against nine kids per team. Jerry and his jocks continue to spy on the Benchwarmers as they continue win every game, much to his frustration and confusion.
At the semi-final game, Jerry convinced coach Wayne to bribe the umpire by entering his Dominican friend Carlos into the league claiming him to be 12 years old (despite the fake birth certificate being written in green crayon). Carlos proved to be a professional, who purposely stepped on Gus' hand to injure it to much for him to pitch. But the Benchwarmers eventually manage to defeat Carlos by making him too drunk to actually pitch properly and they manage to win when Richie's agoraphobic brother Howie is hit by the pitch but forces the winning run.
However, Brad and Karl find evidence that Gus was a bully himself; known for using name calling over physical force and had bullied one child so intensely that the boy, named Marcus, had to be sent to a mental institution. Taking advantage, Jerry exposed Gus' secret to the public, resulting in Gus getting kicked out of the team. However, on his wife Liz's advice, Gus sincerely apologized to Marcus, who before the final game, made an incredible speech that he forgave him. Gus is kicked off the team as a result, but at his wife, Liz's, suggestion, Gus apologizes to Marcus. Marcus arrives at the final game to reveal to the crowd that Gus had apologized and felt awful about what he did when he was kid, and Gus re-joins the team, announcing that Marcus is the Benchwarmers' new third-base coach.
In the final game, Gus, Clark and Richie do not play; rather, they let a team of Nelson and other children play, to give them a chance to compete. The final is played against a team with a heartless coach, Jerry (Craig Kilborn), who practically torments his players – and was Richie and Clark's main bully when they were children. Nelson hits the ball, and Jerry's team lets him score a run, saying that Jerry is "the loser". The Benchwarmers storm the field, celebrating the fact that they were not shut out, and they give an enraged Jerry a taste of his own medicine, giving him a wedgie. Later, The Benchwarmers celebrate at Pizza Hut where Richie and Clark manage to kiss girls, and Gus celebrates as he will become a father.
- Rob Schneider as Gus Matthews, one of the three main protagonists, bully as a child, "baseball star."
- David Spade as Richie Goodman, one of the three main protagonists, who was one of those (alongside Clark) bullied as a child.
- Jon Heder as Clark Reedy, one of the three main protagonists, who was one of those (alongside Richie) bullied as a child.
- Jon Lovitz as Mel Carmichael, a nerdy billionaire, who brings the Benchwarmers to the public eye.
- Nick Swardson as Howie Goodman, Richie's agoraphobic brother, who views the Sun as a hideous monster, stays at home and has a nasty habit of eating sunscreen.
- Craig Kilborn as Jerry, the main antagonist, who was Richie and Clark's main bully when they were children.
- Molly Sims as Liz Matthews, Gus's wife.
- Tim Meadows as Wayne
- Amaury Nolasco as Carlos
- Bill Romanowski as Karl
- Reggie Jackson as himself
- Max Prado as Nelson
- Danny McCarthy as Troy
- Sean Salisbury as Brad
- Matt Weinberg as Kyle
- John P. Farley as Swimmer Boy
- Terry Crews as Steven (Poker Guy #1)
- Dennis Dugan as Coach Bellows
- William Daniels as the voice of K.I.T.T.
- Joey Gnoffo as Marcus Elwood, a dwarf who Gus bullied as a child.
The Benchwarmers was shot in various locations in California, mostly in Agoura Hills in the following addresses: Chumash Park – 5550 Medea Valley Drive and Pizza Hut – 5146 Kanan Road, while the rest of the locations were in Chino Hills; Chino; Culver City; Glendale; Watson Drug Store – 116 E. Chapman Avenue, Orange; Simi Valley; Westwood, Los Angeles and 33583 Mulholland Hwy, Malibu (Mel's house)
The film received generally negative reviews from critics with a 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 70 reviews and 25 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 17 reviews. The consensus on Rotten Tomatoes was "a gross-out comedy that is more sophomoric than funny, The Benchwarmers goes down swinging". Rob Schneider earned a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actor for the movie, alongside Little Man, but lost to both Shawn and Marlon Wayans, also for Little Man.
Despite negative reviews, the film was a box office success. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $19.6 million, ranking second at the North American box office. The film grossed $59,843,754 domestically and $5,113,537 in foreign markets, totaling $64,957,291 worldwide.
- The Benchwarmers at the Internet Movie Database
- The Benchwarmers at Box Office Mojo
- The Benchwarmers at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Benchwarmers at Metacritic
- David Spade interview for The Benchwarmers