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Film / Facing the Giants

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The Moral Substitute for the clichéd sports-movie storyline we all know by heart. It follows the life of down-and-out football coach Grant Taylor as he manages to coach his tiny, apathetic high school football team to an incredible season.

Made by Sherwood Pictures, the studio that would later make Fireproof and Courageous.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Arc Words: "Win or lose...we give God the glory."
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Inverted when the MPAA assigned it a PG rating due to "football violence" and discussion of infertility. Curiously, it was not appealed; with Focus on the Family reviewer Bob Waliszewski suggesting that this may have actually helped the film's success.
  • Author Tract: It's not just a Christian movie but produced and financed by a Baptist church, so this is pretty much inevitable.
  • Chain of Corrections: The Charles Schulz/Charles Lindbergh/Limburger cheese banter before the third-act turnaround.
  • David Versus Goliath: The title says it all.
  • Deus ex Machina: Justified, for...obvious reasons.
    • The one match they lost after turning to the Lord and the winning team gets DQ'd due to having two 19-year-olds in the team.
    • Another example is during the final game when David is about to kick a field goal that if he misses, will cost the team the game, he prays "Dear God…help me make this kick…" And he does.
  • Down to the Last Play
  • Easily-Overheard Conversation: Grant stumbles across a meeting at the school and learns of several players' fathers discussing calling for Grant to be fired, going so far as to offer the job to Brady, one of Grant's assistants, with Grant implied to be somewhat hesitantly going along with the tanking plot.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: The DVD subtitles interpret "Kojak" as "Cool Jack".
  • File Mixup: Grant's wife Brooke goes back to the doctor to see if some strange symptoms could mean she's finally pregnant. The nurse has to tell her no, and Brooke tries to accept it. However, just as she's about to drive away, the nurse realizes she mixed up some of the papers and Brooke actually has managed to conceive a child. She quickly goes out to break the good news, to Tears of Joy from the expectant mother.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: And how!
  • Heel–Faith Turn: A textbook literal example.
  • Historical Character Confusion: A Who's on First?-esque conversation involves, among other things, the speaker confusing Charles Schultz with the pilot Charles Lindbergh (then him with the Hindenburg). He's clearly joking, though, to mess with The Comically Serious coach trying to correct him.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Grant and his wife have constantly tried to get a child, to no avail. But once Grant turns to the lord...
  • Meaningful Name: The kicker who makes the game-winning field-goal is named David Childers. His best friend (and holder) is named Jonathan Weston. Take a wild guess as to where the idea for the names came from.
  • The Moral Substitute: Considering that this movie was made by a church, this should not be a surprise.
  • Newscaster Cameo: Then-WALBnote  sports anchor Kevin Mcdermondnote  briefly appears to plug a story on the Eagles advancing to the state championship game.
  • Obviously Evil: The coach of the final team fought is an arrogant Fat Bastard who brags about their previous victories and compares the Eagles to dogs nipping at their heels. What a sportsman.
  • Put Me In, Coach!: During the film; David Childers is generally used in spot duty kicking short field goals. Then the regular kicker gets hurt in the championship game; forcing Shiloh to invoke this trope.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Grant does this to the team when they screw up what should have been an easy win, screaming at them that the reason that they keep losing is because two of them got detention for playing a prank on another student, and the rest aren't being serious about practice.
  • Reconstruction: Of sorts, for the super-clichéd "Little Team Of Failures Becomes Motivated Team Of Champions" storyline for sports films in general, and football films in particular. The goods are delivered—but here, the motivation comes from newfound faith, in Kierkegaard-esque fashion.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Double Subverted. The team makes it to the state playoffs, only to lose in the first round. Grant and the others are disappointed, but take solace in the fact they at least made it to the postseason. But then it's discovered the team they lost to used two ineligible players during the game. Thus, they're disqualified and Shiloh gets to move on, where they proceed to ultimately win the championship.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: During the championship game; the Giants commit a very blatant roughing the kicker penalty that results in Shiloh's regular kicker forced to miss the rest of the game with an injury; resulting in David Childers being used as kicker the rest of the way.
  • You Better Sit Down: Coach Grant Taylor gets a call informing him that his team will be allowed into the playoffs after all because the team they lost to in the last game cheated. You only hear Grant's end of the conversation, but he repeats the caller's question of "Am I sitting down?" with obvious confusion.