The Game Plan Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
An eight-year-old girl is the last thing quarterback Joe Kingman (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) expects to find on his doorstep. He’s more surprised when he discovers she is his daughter from a previous marriage. Now the self-absorbed athlete, who lives in an apartment decorated with game memorabilia and super-enlarged images of himself, is stuck with Peyton (Madison Pettis) for a whole month while her mother supposedly heads overseas for humanitarian work.
With season playoffs looming in the near future, this revelation couldn’t come at a worse time. And even with his publicity agent (Kyra Sedgwick) working overtime, some parenting blunders are to be expected. (He has, after all, only known he’s a dad for a few short hours.) But unfortunately for Joe, he’s taking on his new role under the glare of the media who makes it front page news when the bachelor temporarily forgets his daughter at his club on opening night.
Still audiences won’t have to worry too much about the precocious little schoolgirl who knowingly works things to her advantage. Forcing past Joe’s defensive line, she wiggles her way into his life and the good graces of the other players on the Rebels football team. She also persuades her Dad to take her to ballet classes where Joe is recruited to play a tree in the studio’s dance production.
Admittedly, many of the movie’s situations are as contrived as Peyton’s plan to win over her dad. Yet this script comes with a father-friendly message that is often missing, even in family-oriented films. Struggling to deal with a group of giggling, squealing girls at the mall, Joe begs Peyton’s dance teacher, Monique (Roselyn Sanchez), to come to his rescue. There, despite Joe’s inadequacies, she assures the gridiron QB that his role as a father is invaluable in Peyton’s life. Luckily, the little girl proves to be equally important in Joe’s life as he learns to watch out for someone other than himself. It’s a change that benefits not only the Rebel leader but also his entire team.
With little concerns for family viewers (other than some hard football hits, a brief mild profanity and the stereotypical depiction of athletes), this film elevates the importance of parents, both moms and dads. And that’s a great game plan.
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Kyra Sedgwick, Morris Chestnut, Gordon Clapp. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release September 27, 2007. Updated July 17, 2017
The Game Plan
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Game Plan rated PG? The Game Plan is rated PG by the MPAA for some mild thematic elements.
Joe is surprised to learn he is the father of a young girl who was conceived in the last days of his marriage. Since his divorce, he has become an increasingly self-absorbed party-goer. (Drinks are served at a New Year’s Eve event and a restaurant’s opening night.) On the football field, players are tackled. The script includes a brief, mild profanity.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for The Game Plan after the break...
The Game Plan Parents' Guide
How does Peyton’s arrival change the way Joe feels about his career and current lifestyle? Does he take his parenting responsibilities seriously or not?
The film initially relies on stereotypical depictions of athletes. Do those portrayals change? What other interests do some of these players have?
How can family relationships help individuals overcome selfish tendencies? What does Joe discover about himself? How does his attitude change help his game?
The most recent home video release of The Game Plan movie is January 22, 2008. Here are some details…
The Game Plan makes a touchdown on DVD, with a score of bonus extras, such as bloopers (narrated by sportscaster Marv Albert), deleted scenes and Chalk Talk (a commentary by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and director Andy Fickman, accompanied by sports-booth-style graphics). Also included are the featurettes Drafting the Game Plan (a look at the making of the film), ESPN’s SportsCenter DVD/Blu-ray Exclusive: The King In Search Of A Ring (a interview with fictional football star Joe Kingman, hosted by Stuart Scott) and ESPN’s SportsCenter: The Rock Learns To Play QB (The Rock explains how he learned to play quarterback for the movie to reporter Sean Salisbury). For those who want to play, The Game Plan offers interactive alternatives like The Universal “Mood” Remote Control Menus and Peyton’s Makeover Madness (where you can control the mood lighting and redecorate Joe’s apartment). Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, French and Spanish), with subtitles in French and Spanish.
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A young fashion designer finds her career plans changing when she becomes the guardian of her sister’s three children in Raising Helen. Football unites a community fractured by racial tensions in Remember the Titans. A self-absorbed executive has to deal directly with his past when a childhood version of himself shows up on his doorstep in Disney’s The Kid.