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(2005), PG [PG-13*] (1hr 29min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
May 12, 2005
58 out of 100

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Christian Long Distance

(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2005), PG [PG-13*] -- one of the very few so far 13-PG films.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Universal Pictures, Mosaic Media Group
Distribution (US): Universal Pictures
Director(s): Jesse Dylan
Producer(s): Judd Apatow, Mia Apatow, Daniel Lupi, Jim Miller, Jimmy Miller, Mary Parent, Charles Roven, Lata Ryan
Written by: Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick
Cinematography/Camera: Lloyd Ahern II, Donald E. Thorin
Music: Mark Isham, David Newman, Pinar Toprak
Film Editing: William Kerr, Stuart H. Pappé, Peter Teschner
Casting: Juel Bestrop, Jeanne McCarthy
Production Design: Clayton Hartley
Art Direction: Virginia L. Randolph
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

Without crunching all the numbers, I suspect this PG film will NOT earn a score in the range of scores earned by PG films in the comparative baseline database. We'll see.

crunch ... crunch ... crunch

Sure enough, my suspicions were correct. With a final score of 58, Kicking and Screaming fell deeply in the scoring range earned by PG-13 movies in the comparative baseline database (55 to 67 out of 100) and only four points out of 12 away from the top of the scoring range earned by R-rated movies (54 and below). This film is one of the very few so far 13-PG films. When the CAP analysis model was built this film would, with high confidence, have earned a PG-13 MPAA rating. This film is yet more evidence of how Harvard University agrees with our R-13 finding.

Apparently the MPAA feels it is okay to expose your kids to lesbianism. God and the CAP analysis model do not. When a pair of women speak of the same boy as "our son" there is no doubt as to the portrayal of lesbianism akin to the elementary school book, Heather Has Two Mommies. In this case, the little bespeckled Byong Sun (Elliott Cho) has two mommies. By His own Word in both the Old Testament [Lev. 20:13] and the New Testament [1Cor. 6:9-10, Jude 1:7, Rom. 1:24 - 27], God speaks darkly of homosexuality and lesbianism. And these are just a few of many admonitions against the practice of homosexuality/lesbianism. It was largely due to frequent exposure to the lesbian pair that dragged the Sexual Immorality (S) investigation area score to 25, which is in the range of scores earned by many R-rated movies (54 and below out of 100).

There is more competition than just on the soccer field. Viscous competition.

Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) owns and operates Phil's Pills vitamin store and has no driving interest in sports. His father, Buck (Robert Duvall) is divorced from Phil's mother, has a new "plaything" wife and another son, Bucky (Josh Hutcherson), Phil's ten year old brother.

Buck is a legendary coach. In his retirement from sports to operate a chain of sporting goods stores, Buck coaches the top ranked youth soccer team, the Gladiators. Phil was never athletically inclined. Buck never let Phil forget he was a klutz at sports. Klutz? Buck made sure that is what Phil thought of himself. Buck even took a soccer ball from Phil that Phil caught when Pele kicked it off the soccer field into the stands. That Pele ball became Buck's prized possession.

As Phil grew up Buck handled him with much the same finesse as he handled a team -- as a gruff, demanding, whipmaster without a whip. As a lifelong victim of his father's ultra-competative nature, Phil carries a mountain of rage that has built up over the years. And that mountain has emotional magma at is core which threatens to erupt.

Apparently according to Freudian Hollywood, never is anyone accountable for his/her own choices. Any poor choice an adult makes or trouble s/he causes is the fault of his/her parent(s), of his/her relatives, of his her peers, of something other than him/herself. While this may at times be true, it is not always. At one point or another, we must each accept the accountability for our choices. One of the first words kids learn is "No." More adults should speak that word into the mirror when deciding whether to look to others for blame. At least Buck did not try to blame his parents for his bristling harshness with Phil.

The coach of the bottom-ranked Tigers has disappeared. With some goads and dares, Phil took it upon himself to coach the Tigers. As formula plots go, there seemed to be no hope for the Tigers of ever climbing up from the bottom since Weston had no experience at coaching and was quite inept at sports in general.

Buck's prized possession, the Pele ball, also became the object of a high-stakes bet between Phil and his father. If the Gladiators won the season, Phil would come to work for his father at his sporting goods stores. If the Tigers won, Phil would take possession of the Pele ball.

Any hopes of the Tigers winning the season (and of Phil taking possession of the Pele ball) were gossamer ... until Phil found two adolescent Italian soccer experts, Massimo (Alessandro Ruggiero) and Gian (Francesco Liotti). While visiting their "meat comes first" uncle Umberto (Joseph R. Sicari), the local butcher, Phil noted the boys were dazzling as they treated a wad of trash as a soccer ball and performed with it what might best be called a sports ballet. The Tigers were rescued! Massimo and Gian took the Tigers from last place to tied for first place. Assistance from Mike Ditka, neighbor of and adversary to Buck, didn't hurt the growing success of the Tigers. Ditka being of the same compassion caliber of Buck didn't help, either.

One of the nice things portrayed in this film was the acceptance into the team the two Italian boys who could not even speak English. With the examples Massimo and Gian set, the other boys slowly became a lot better. Confidence grew and became the rightful mainstay of their self respect.

This film could have been an enjoyable experience, and was in many aspects, but the writers included, in my opinion, far too much bitterness and aggression toward a bunch of little boys by a coach angered by things totally unrelated to the boys or their lack of abilities. Weston was indeed abusive to the boys at times, even the boys on opposing teams. [Matt. 18:10]

There was redemption, regret and reconciliation at the end. However, we must always try to keep in mind that a noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path. It is indeed a wonderful thing that, for example, a murderer becomes deeply sorry and truly regrets his/her heinous deed, but all the sorrow and regret in the world will not bring back the victim.

There are a number of uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary which would likely get most youth coaches fired. [Col. 3:8] Many lies to the boys, a few adult tantrums, a father belittling his son [Eph. 6:4] and a string of episodes of poor sportsmanship [2Tim. 2:5] including an adult calling a child names [Matt. 25:40] dragged the Impudence/Hate score to zero, which is the only investigation area score of zero.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Lev. 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: ...
  • 1Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the [unforgiven] wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Rom. 1:24 - 27 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
  • Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication [sexual immorality such as pre- and extra-marital sex], and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire [if unforgiven]. ["Flesh" is sarx: the sensuous nature of man. "Going after strange flesh" when applied to Sodom and Gomorrha is the practice of (the "going after") homosexuality (of "strange flesh") and other non-heterosexual practices. The bottom line: any sexual contact (including visual), conduct or activity outside a monogamous heterosexual marriage is immoral.]
  • Matt. 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. ["Despise" is kataphroneo {kat-af-ron-eh'-o}: 1) to condemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of, to look down upon (which includes abuse, even by influence)]
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • Eph. 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
  • 2Tim. 2:5 Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it].
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among you], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. ["Offend": skandalizo - to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away. "Little ones": mikros - little;, small of age; younger which can include at-home teens].
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)

    Kicking & Screaming (2005) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • vehicular rudeness
  • adult fight
  • reckless endangerment - vehicular
  • adult animated argument

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • seven uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • adult tantrum, repeatedly
  • father to son lies
  • public urination - child
  • lies, repeatedly
  • adult lie about kids
  • father belittlement of son, repeatedly
  • suggesting poor sportsmanship, repeatedly
  • poor sportsmanlike conduct, repeatedly
  • lie about abuse of a child
  • adult calling child names, repeatedly

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • crude anatomical humor, repeatedly
  • excessive cleavage, twice
  • crude humor - pregnancy
  • portrayal of lesbianism as normal and acceptable, repeatedly
  • dressing to maximize the human form and/or skin exposure
  • crotch hit, repeatedly

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • neon beer sign
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • bar

    Offense to God (O)
  • seven uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive. some by children and/or in front of children

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

  • First Impressions and

    Christian Educators Association International



    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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