Making the Grades
There's nothing like a good sports movie to inspire audiences. Unfortunately, The Comebacks is nothing like a good sports film. Packed with crass humor, blatant rip offs and sexual innuendo from the first frame to the final credit, this parody of the sports genre is short on original humor and void of family themes.
At home as well as on the playing field, Coach Lambeau Fields (David Koechner) is a confirmed loser. Having tried his hand at coaching hockey, car racing and soccer, the habitual failure has given up team activities and taken employment at a stud farm (enough said). But when his former assistant (Carl Weathers) shows up at the stable with an offer to coach a college football team, the former athletic director decides to come out of retirement, despite his wife's (Melora Hardin) concern about the repercussions for their daughter (Brooke Nevin) who will have to move once again.
Located deep in Texas, Lambeau's new team, the Heartland State Comebacks, is the stereotypical mishmash of players including Trotter (Jackie Long), a bling-embellished receiver and Lance (Matthew Lawrence), a fumbling quarterback with a cross-dressing father (Nick Searcy). The squad also recruits a sarong wearing female soccer player (Noureen DeWulf) to be their kicker and welcomes a mentally challenged boy (Jermaine Williams) as the coach's assistant. Other faintly familiar characters round out the football roster.
Yet the coach may be the oddest team member of all. Unlike the motivating figures we've come to expect in the arena of athletics, Lambeau insists on mediocrity and failing grades from these academically-able young students. He's also upset when the players don't consume uncontrolled amounts of alcohol or pop illegal pills.
However that's not the only disappointing thing about this script that managed to appeal its way out of an R-rating. With their sights set on the Toilet Bowl, these players don't have high expectations for the season and moviegoers can't hope for anything better. At best, The Comebacks will force viewers to use a pen and paper to keep a running tally of all the titles it lampoons. And that might be the best entertainment one can expect from this thoroughly unfunny and content-laden film.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Comebacks.
What elements are necessary to pull off a successful parody? What is the difference between a genuine spoof and the simple rehashing of a scene?
What is the shelf life of a teen-oriented movie? How might this contribute to the regular reuse of materiel/ideas that this particular genre frequently suffers from?