The Big Green
was a 1995 live action sports movie from Disney
, starring Olivia d'Abo as Anna Montgomery, a teacher who had been transfered from London, England to the incredibly sleepy little (fictional) town of Elma, Texas, a town so small, there's only one school, and the school is divided into two classes - little kids and big kids. Miss Montgomery is assigned to teach the big kids, but soon learns that the kids have no interest whatsoever in anything, because they feel they're losers (living in a dull small town, can you really blame them?) Miss Montgomery decides to try and get the kids involved in an activity that will help boost their confidence, as well as bring them together, so she forms a soccer team with them. Aided by local town sheriff Tom Palmer (Steve Guttenberg), who has a crush on her, Miss Montgomery and Sheriff Tom try to whip the new team into shape, and sign them up in the junion soccer league, pitting them against the Austin Knights, coached by Jay Hoffer (Jay O. Sanders).
The Big Green, as they're later called (it's what the old school yard used to be called), fails to win any game, until the new student Juan is enrolled in school, and they see he's a natural at soccer. With Juan on the team, as well as the continued efforts by Miss Montgomery and Sheriff Tom to coach them along, the kids slowly but surely build up their confidence, and soon it spreads throughout the town, sparking a new interest in soccer, and giving the townsfolk something to look forward to. Suffice to say in the end, Miss Montgomery definitely made a lasting impact on the town of Elma.
This film provides examples of
- Affectionate Nickname: The kids refer to Sheriff Tom as Deputy Dawg, while he refers to them as Midgets (this was before it was considered a racial slur).
- The Bet: Jay uses this as an excuse to try and get a kiss from Miss Montgomery, though she sees past this, and makes an offer that if the Knights lose, he as the kiss Ernie the Goat.
- Big Game: In the end when the Big Green take on the Knights.
- Calling the Old Man Out / You Go Girl: Kate giving her dad an earful when she realizes he was partly responsible for Juan and his mother fleeing, and realizing just how much her life sucks.
- Casanova Wannabe: Sheriff Tom.
- Conspicuous CG: The main title of the movie consists of a black screen, with a CG goat (probably meant to be Ernie) butting a green and white soccer ball around.
- At one point during the movie, a progress report of the number of wins the Big Green is gaining up against other teams in displayed in the form of a CG soccerball bouncing across a sidewalk in the grass, with the Big Green's wins tally marked onto the sidewalk with chalk.
- Coordinated Clothes: Sue and Lou.
- The Danza: Jay O. Sanders as Coach Jay Hoffer.
- David Versus Goliath: Considering the Big Green is composed on a bunch of misfits, including girls, and little kids, up against trained players on the Knights' team.
- Deadpan Snarker: Almost all of the kids, but perhaps Kate the most of all.
- Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Well, not exactly cheat, but Jay does take the time to handicap the Big Green. In addition to coaching the Knights, his paying job is working for the IRS, and figures Juan and his mother are illegal aliens. As it turns out, while Juan is legally an American citizen (he was born in El Paso), his mother isn't, and as such, they flee to avoid getting in trouble, which causes a stir for the Big Green.
- Down to the Last Play: The shoot out with penalty kicks at the end.
- Dueling Movies: Little Giants
- Dying Town: Elma, Texas. Some descriptions of the movie lampshade this.
- Friend to All Children: Averted with Sheriff Tom, he seems to have some mild comtempt for them, but at the same time, he allows them to razz him, call him "Deputy Dawg", and even lets them take his cruiser for a joyride out in the fields as long as they don't tell anybody (plus, he seems to enjoy it as much as they do).
- Friendly Enemy: Somewhat. Sheriff Tom and Jay don't appear to outright hate each other, in fact, they exchange barbs and quips just about everytime they encounter each other; at the same time, they clearly aren't friends, Tom even remarks to Miss Montgomery, "I can't stand that creep, I can't stand his kids".
- Guys Are Slobs: Kate's father is an messy-haired and unshaven alcoholic who spends his days doing nothing but lying around the house, sucking down beers and smoking cigarettes. Anytime he does leave the house, it's the head down to the bar, and drink himself unconscious.
- Hello, Nurse!: Both Sheriff Tom and Jay have this reaction when they see Miss Montgomery for the first time.
- Hey, It's That Kid! Bug Hall, better known as Alfafa Switzer, plays Lil' Newt Shaw.
- Hot Teacher: Anna Montgomery... hello, it's Olivia d'Abo... in sweaters and miniskirts!
- The Illegal: Juan's mother.
- It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: The principal actually pronounces Juan's name the way it's spelled: "Joo-wan Mor-ray-lees".
- Imagine Spot: Larry has one every single time opponents come at him to score a goal, he keeps envisioning them as various different kinds of "bad guys", including actual knights, terminators, vikings, pirates, and even zombies. Finally, during the final shoot out, he manages to get Jay Hoffer, Jr. to experience once as he sees Larry as a combination of all the previous baddies.
- Jerkass: Jay Hoffer.
- Jerk Jock: Just about all of the Knights.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kate's father is a Jerkass up to the point where she tells him off, afterwards, he finally cleans himself up, and makes an effort to actually take responsibility and be the father.
- Sheriff Tom is a milder example, he's not so much a jerk, as he just has little patience for the kids, and reluctantly agrees to help coach them because it allows him to spend more time with Miss Montgomery.
- Mascot: Ernie the Goat.
- Miracle Rally: Pretty much a standard for kids' sports flicks.
- Missing Mom: Kate's mother left her and her father three years prior to the setting of the movie.
- New Transfer Student: Juan.
- The Nineties
- Parental Abandonment: Kate lives this. Her mom left years ago, her father is a Jerkass slacker who shows no interest in her life whatsoever, and as a result, Kate herself feels like a worthless, useless, talentless loser. Even Miss Montgomery has trouble trying to reach her when she sees Kate puts absolutely no effort into her schoolwork, figuring she'll just end up being a cashier at Piggly Wiggly.
- Police Are Useless: Lampshaded at least twice in the movie, as Sheriff Tom spends so much time helping Miss Montgomery coach the kids, that Larry at one point asks him, "While you're here, who's giving out speeding tickets and picking dead animals off the highway?" Later still, the police chief calls Tom into his office and tells him, "I've got some actual sheriff work for you for a change."
- Puppy Love: Arises between Kate and Juan.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
- Randy Edelman: Considered one of his best scores.
- Single-Minded Twins: Sue and Lou.
- Smooch of Victory: The stakes of The Bet Jay proposes to Miss Montgomery. Averted when he has to kiss the goat instead.
- Theme Twin Naming: Sue and Lou again.
- Underdogs Never Lose