Making the Grades
A well established movie critic once asked me if I would give a bad movie a good score just because it didn't have any sex or violence. My reply was that even in a movie with no blood or bad words, it is possible to be teaching children ideas that may seem innocent at first, but in repetition can present an unbalanced view.
With The Big Green, it is time to hold true to my answer. There is only one curse and minor soccer violence, but If you have seen The Mighty Ducks, you have seen The Big Green. The scripts are so much alike, a word processor's "find and replace" function could be used to write this movie. Just take The Mighty Ducks' script and replace every occurrence of the word hockey with soccer. Now change shoot to kick. Puck to ball. That's it! Another movie has been born!
The plot is entirely predictable with all of the usual typecast characters and events among the burps and flatulence. First, introduce the underdogs. Then the unusual coach with the unusual sport. Next, the underdogs get trampled in their first game by guys in nice black uniforms (and they never have to play that team during the season again, until the final). The underdogs practice hard and get their own nice uniforms. They begin to win games against other teams that don't have nice uniforms. Finally, they have the big match against the team in the black uniforms, and win the game in overtime.
To help your children recognize the pattern found in these movies, ask them if they have ever seen another movie like this? (This plot is a classic, even before The Mighty Ducks.) Or why they think the underdogs always win, and if that was their school team, would they win the game? Finally, would the underdogs have gained anything if they came in second place? These questions may help your children understand that by reusing a popular script, Disney can make The Big Green in more ways than one.