Bad Parents (2012)

‘Bad Parents’ (2012) roguishly true before it goes dark

The title Bad Parents is a clue that this indie film is in the Bad Grandpa, Bad Teacher, Bad Santa genre. But it is more than that because up until the 58th minute, this indie film rings roguishly true.

I witnessed these situations myself as a soccer mom, although this movie takes sports parenting to a black comedic extreme.

Writer-Director-Producer Caytha Jentis’ film, and the play it was based on, were cathartic for her. She was sucked into the club soccer vortex and writes from what she knows.

The Story

The bad sports parenting begins with the sad idea of holding tryouts for a U8 girls team. Parents are stigmatized by the shame of only making the B team. Then come the horrors of playing time. All is perfectly justified by Coach Nick’s mantra that “It’s All About the Kids.” But he’s not above bribes and sexual favors to take a player off the bench.

Not for kids?

The fact is, I stopped laughing in the 58th minute, when Coach Nick (Christopher Titus) asks a dad if he is willing to go the extra 7 inches to get his daughter more playing time. From that point on, the movie loses its humor and the sensible soccer mom (Janeane Garofalo) loses her sanity, as both lose their grip on reality.

You can skip the last 30 minutes, unless you just want to find out, as shown in the beginning of the movie, who had impaled Coach Nick with a corner flag.

Given all the F-bombs, sexual innuendo, and the black comedy, this is definitely an adults only film. Although it was promoted as a youth sports fundraiser when first released, I could see a lot of raised eyebrows afterward if you showed this film to your rec or comp club parents. But if you do, just show the first 57 minutes.

New Jersey is the hotbed of soccer

The soccer play is authentic because they have a lot of good little soccer players in New Jersey who were pulled in for the film. Even the refereeing is realistic, which is really rare in soccer movies.

6 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 6
(8 for the first 57 minutes and 4 for the last 30 minutes)