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Discussion Guide: Kicking & Screaming


Movie Synopsis

Will Ferrell stars as a suburban dad who transforms into a maniac when he becomes the coach of his son' unruly soccer team and is pitted against his own domineering dad (Robert Duvall).

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Discussion Questions

  1. When Coach Ditka gives Phil coffee, he goes from caring dad to an abusive and overly intense coach. Is this good or bad? Why?
  2. Phil’s father, Buck, was overly intense when Phil was growing up. How did that impact Phil’s behavior throughout the film?
  3. Is Phil’s behavior with parents acceptable? Why or why not?
  4. Many would consider this film ‘satire’ on the overly intense win-at-all-cost culture in youth sports. What is your opinion? Is this comedy or reality?
  5. At the end of the movie, when Phil realizes the error of his ways (being overly intense) is it too late to alter his behavior?
  6. When Phil stops being intense and reverts to caring behavior, is it all coincidence that his team is even more successful and goes on to win the game?
  7. At the end of the final game, Phil refuses to accept his ‘prize’ from Buck. Is this because he realized that there is more to life than winning?

Our partner, Positive Coaching Alliance, provides a collection of movie discussion guides, which aim to help you make the most out of movie viewing with your team or child. Movies provide many of "teachable moments" parents can share with their young athletes helping them be successful, contributing members of society.

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