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Film / Kicking & Screaming

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Kicking & Screaming is a soccer-themed 2005 movie starring Will Ferrell and Robert Duvall.

Buck and Phil Weston are father and son and, when Buck, as coach of his little league soccer team, transfers Phil's son Sam to another team, Phil eventually decides to coach Sam's new team.


Tropes:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Mike Ditka calls Byong-Sun "Bing Bong" a couple of times (even saying "Way to go, Bing-Bong!" when he and Ambrose use the "big man" technique during the finals to score a goal), and calls him Beyoncé at one point when he has the kids wash his car ("Come on, Beyoncé, let's get that back end done!").
    • Ditka also calls Phil Paul constantly. He does get it right once or twice.
  • The Ace: Gian Piero and Massimo are this to the Tigers once they join the team.
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  • The Bet: Buck and Phil make a bet over the little league's championship. If Buck's team wins, Phil will sell his store and work at Buck's sporting goods store chain. If Phil's team wins, Buck will give him his prized Pelé Ball.
  • The Big Guy: Ambrose, the biggest kid in the Tigers.
  • Blue Is Heroic: The Tigers' soccer uniforms are blue.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Hunter eating worms. He does it once early on when he introduces himself to Phil, then he does it again in the second half of the finals to distract the Gladiator's goalie and allow the Tigers to score their second goal.
  • Chekhov's Skill: At one point, Gian Piero tries and fails to show Mark how to catch the ball on the back of his neck. In the second half of the finals, Gian Piero advises Mark to try the move again, this time successfully, coupled with the Chekhov's Gun above, allows the Tigers to score their second goal.
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  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The first game the Gladiators play against the Tigers is in the Gladiators' favour from the moment the match starts.
  • Death Glare: Ditka urges Phil to drink the coffee in his hand, and gives him one of these when Phil expresses reluctance.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The film portrays coffee as a G-Rated Drug. Phil is reluctant to try it, but does so at Ditka's insistence, with Ditka even saying, "Drink the coffee! It'll make you feel better!" He later is seen drinking coffee in almost every scene, practically to the point of addiction, and in one scene in the coffee shop, one of the baristas says he feels he needs to stop Phil drinking it. Drinking too much coffee also seems to alter Phil's behaviour for the worse, along with his desire to beat Buck, and it gets to the point where Sam says he is never going to drink coffee. Phil later gives up the coffee and even breaks the coffee machine.
    • The blood the Tigers get covered in from the cow carcass they cut up makes them look like they're wearing war paint.
  • Epic Fail: The first game we see the Tigers play. Mark even tells Phil, "We're gonna get killed. ... And it's gonna be awful." Sam runs away from the ball when the Gladiators charge at him, another player runs screaming off the pitch, and the scoreboard at the end shows the score at 13-0 to the Gladiators.
    • In another scene, Phil witnesses a dad and son bumping shins with each other as a form of affection. He calls Sam over, asks him how he's doing, and attempts to repeat what he witnessed... but he ends up kicking his own son in the shins.
    Sam: Ow! What was that for?! Jeez!
    Ditka: Did you just kick your son?
    Phil: ...Yeah.
  • Foreshadowing: When the Tigers (sans Sam) introduce themselves to Phil, Phil suggests Byong Sun could team up with Ambrose and become "a mega-person". In the second half of the final, they do just that, where Ambrose picks up Byong Sun and uses him to give the ball a header into the goal, equalizing the game. The commentator even says at that point, "It's like they're forming some kind of mega-person!"
    • During one of the barbecue scenes, Sam and Bucky can be seen playing with a tether ball in the background. The next scene has Buck and Phil doing the same.
  • For Want of a Nail: Phil only met Barbara because a javelin he threw landed in the ground near where she was walking.
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  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Buck's slogan for his sporting goods store chain is "He's got balls".
  • Gilligan Cut: Barbara tells Phil not to cry in front of Ditka when he's about to tell him about thinking he's letting Sam down. Cut to Phil practically bawling in front of Ditka... while they're in a coffee shop.
  • Graceful Loser: Buck holds no hard feelings over losing the championship.
  • Groin Attack: Buck accidentally hitting Phil in the nuts with a tether ball.
  • Has Two Mommies: The parents of one of Phil's players.
  • Hate Sink: Buck is meant to be portrayed antagonistically, but he isn't evil, just over-competitive.
    • There's also the Hummer driver, who takes up two spaces with her Hummer and mocks Phil's Prius, then takes ages to order in the coffee shop, much to Phil's annoyance, and starts beating him up when he screams for her to hurry up.
  • Henpecked Husband: Mike Dikta, when his wife ordered him not to smoke in the house.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: All of the barbecue scenes.
    • Buck and Phil playing darts.
    • The Tigers having pizza at the Weston house after their first win, and again when they sit around the fire.
  • Hypocrite: Buck makes fun of Phil when he says he doesn't want to work for Buck if he loses his bet, causing Buck to make clucking noises, yet Buck himself is equally reluctant to give up the Pelé Ball. Both of them only cave in when the other makes clucking noises.
  • Jerkass: The Hummer driver. Buck, Ditka and Phil all have their moments too.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Ditka calls Phil out for having a bad attitude and that it's wrong to want to hurt other players.
  • Kick the Dog: During the semi-finals, Phil pushes over a random player of the other team. The ref angrily calls him out for it. Phil then screams "Losers!" through a cone when the other team loses.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: This happens when Phil is telling Buck he and Barbara are engaged, and he sees Buck on the couch with Janice.
  • Loser Son of Loser Dad: Phil fears that Sam will turn out like he did, and in some ways, he's right, as Sam is constantly placed on the bench during soccer matches, like Phil was at the same age.
  • Manchild: Phil.
  • Man Hug: Phil gives Ditka one near the end of the first game with the Italians. Ditka shoves Phil away.
  • May–December Romance: Buck and Janice. Buck is Phil's dad, and Janice is either around the same age as Phil or maybe even younger than him.
  • No Antagonist: The closest thing the film has to an antagonist is Buck, and he isn't evil, just overly competitive.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: Both Buck and Phil are reluctant to cave in to the demands of the other during their bet. They only agree to them when the other makes clucking noises at each other.
  • Oh, Crap!: Phil when he sees his first game as the Tigers' coach will be played against the Gladiators.
    • The Vultures, when the Tigers arrive late to their game, covered in blood (from the cow carcass they had to cut up). Their coach, Stu, decides to pull a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! and forfeits the game, giving automatic victory to the Tigers.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The Vultures do this after seeing the Tigers arriving late to their game, covered in blood.
    • Ditka decides enough is enough and walks out on Phil when the latter's Jerkass behaviour gets too much, even for him.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: Diana Dikta believes this to the extreme. At least when it comes to smoking in her house.
    Phil: (taking the fall for Mike) I'm sorry, Mrs. Ditka. I'm sorry.
    Diana: (sternly) You should be.
    Phil: It's a nasty, filthy habit.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Phil, after Ditka introduces him to coffee. He becomes obsessed with winning at any cost, insulting the players and parents alike, and at one point even pushes a random player over for no reason.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Since he started coaching, Phil becomes as much of a Jerkass as his dad, as Mike Dikta said.
    Phil: I'm not like my old man! I'm a kind and compassionate human being! With a heart as big as a lion!
  • The Unfavorite: Phil's Dad Buck clearly prefers Phil's athletic half-brother Bucky.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Phil to Buck, Sam to Phil.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Phil starts employing draconian measures in the training of his Little League soccer team in order to get them into the finals, including sending his own son Sam onto the bench and preventing him from contributing (an act his own father pulled on him in his childhood). Weston's wife Barbara finally gets fed up and calls him out on his newly-acquired Jerkass behavior:
    Phil: (Sam) can play if he wants to.
    Barbara: He'd love to play for you! But every time he tries, you end up putting him on the bench. (gives Phil a look) Sound familiar?
    Phil: But I just wanted to get us into the finals.
    Barbara: Well, congratulations. You made it. (walks away in disgust)
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