by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Missi Pyle as WENDY
Emily Osment as BECCA
Dan Cortese as LORENZO
Kristen Wilson as DEE DEE
Studio: Anchor Bay
Directed by: Gregory McClatchy
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I suppose that this year, a movie like “Soccer Mom” should have held a little significance for me. While I’m not a mom, my wife and I did enroll our young sons in a soccer league this autumn. So, for the first time, we got the taste of what it is like to want your child to succeed in sports.
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It is that devotion to your children that drives a movie like “Soccer Mom.” The story follows a young girl named Becca (Emily Osment) whose father has recently passed away. To compensate, her mother Wendy (Missi Pyle) is constantly trying to support her. The only thing that Becca cares about is soccer, but when the team needs a new coach, it puts the players in a lurch.
Wendy tries to entice the famous soccer player Lorenzo Vincenzo (Dan Cortese) to take the job. Unfortunately, Lorenzo is a real jerk and refuses. So, instead of letting her daughter be disappointed, Wendy decides to dress up as Lorenzo to coach the team. However, problems arise when Becca confronts her mom for not being at their games and when the real Lorenzo shows up on the field.
This film works for the direct-to-DVD family market. It’s not as strong as the mainstream theatrical films out there, but for a smaller, wholesome movie you can show your kids, it works. There’s a bit too much teenage girl angst with Becca feeling abandoned by both parents, but I can look past that.
It is good to see Missi Pyle land a starring role for a change. She’s a pretty lady but has a unique look that doesn’t allow her much access to leading lady status. Instead, you’ll see her in more quirky roles, such as her parts in “Galaxy Quest,” “Dodgeball” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Of course, with the gender-bender switcheroo she does in “Soccer Mom,” this can be considered pretty darn quirky. (And it is a bit scary how much she looks like a man when in full make-up.)
Similarly, I’m glad that Emily Osment is getting more work outside of “Hannah Montana.” She’s taking quite a back seat to Miley Cyrus, and I hope she has a chance to break out of her Disney Channel sidekick status, which doesn’t always work for the supporting roles on that network.
The comedy in the film is forced a bit, and the situations are shoehorned into the plot at times. Several scenes channel the quick-change moments in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” which can be irritating at times, but ultimately this is a nice flick for families with daughters and kids interested in soccer.
The special features include a spotlight on the make-up transformation Missi Pyle went through from Wendy to Lorenzo. There’s also a slate of somewhat cheesy cast interviews dubbed “The Heart of the Goal.”