Ladybugs (1992)

Rodney Dangerfield earns respect for ‘Ladybugs’ (1992)

Ladybugs is the first soccer movie to make me laugh all the way through! Chester knows nothing about soccer, but he volunteers to coach the boss’ daughter’s team in the hopes of getting a long-deserved promotion.

Chester gets his girlfriend’s young son to put on a wig so that he can take the Ladybugs to the championship. On the way, “Martha” teaches the girls to play so that in the end they can win on their own.

Not really a movie for kids

Lessons aside, this is definitely not a movie you want to show kids– there is a lot of blue humor from Rodney Dangerfield (Coach Chester) and Jackée (his Admin and Asst Coach). A sex joke or leering shot happens every few minutes. In the championship game, as the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile leads a band across the field at half-time, Jackée asks Rodney, aren’t you going to say something? And it’s the only time he passes up on an obvious line.

One of the most $$$ successful soccer movies

The movie is well put-together and earned $14M in 1992, which probably makes it one of the biggest soccer movie moneymakers. Nobody in this movie can play soccer, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s all a joke. E.g., a military-style coach tells his team and then all his fans to get down and give him 30 after a goal is scored against them.

Besides all the good jokes (which are listed on imdb), there is one line that a lot of soccer parents might like, and which Chester says once he realizes the error of his ways and refuses to let his must-win boss bench his own daughter.

Chester: The best, the best. That’s all I keep hearing. You want to be the best. Let me ask you this, what good is being the best if it brings out the worst in you?

– character Coach Chester

One sad note. The nice acting by Jonathan Brandis (Matt/Martha) made the movie credible. He committed suicide at age 27.

7 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 7