Soccer Mom (2008)

‘Soccer Mom’ (2008) is a movie for moms

The first time I saw Soccer Mom on cable, I didn’t like it. The soccer was bad, and the makeup for Missi Pyle—who masquerades as a famous male Italian footballer in order to coach her daughter’s team—was so unbelievable it was distracting.

But this time, I had the DVD and watched the extras first, and that changed my perspective. The extras show how Missi and “Lorenzo” both had fake noses and chins in order to look similar. The Lorenzo actor also matched Missi’s gestures. I had wondered why “Lorenzo” looked and acted odd, even for an Italian! I also ignored the soccer, which except for some stunt double juggling, is at a U12G rec level.

When I filter out those problems, I actually like this movie quite a bit. It has a lot of grown-up humor. Missi resembles Lucille Ball in both looks and flexibility, and she delivers a good performance.

A couple of cute lines:

Coach Lorenzo to players: “what are you waiting for, an evite? www get your butts on the field dot com!”

Mom: Becca’s passing like oh–what’s her name–some sort of meat product…
Coach Tony: Mia Hamm?
Mom: Yeah!

– characters played by Missi Pyle

Missi describes the film as being “for anyone who wants to do whatever it takes for someone they love. And then of course there’s some good old-fashioned cross-dressing.” Which means that this is not really a kids movie. Emily Osment (sister of Haley Joel Osmont) is unattractive as the sullen 14 year old daughter. Nah, this movie is for moms more than it is for kids.

Branding was important part of making the film

Soccer Mom was financed in part by Ladies Home Journal, who wanted to develop “a series of family films that target moms (25-54) who celebrate and cherish their family relationships.” The final credit is “Ladies’ Home Journal. Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman.”

The producer, Bogner Entertainment, Inc. (BEI), designs films with embedded branding whose titles are based on highly recognizable concepts, e.g. soccer moms. I wondered why so many scenes were shot in a Dodge Caravan, and it turned out that this was part of the branding concept, i.e. product placement on steroids. website is no longer active, but it had a slideset used to pitch the movie for private financing. The budget for the movie was $3.5M, but it went straight to DVD. In the slideset, BEI claimed that:

  • Soccer movie average gross = $11M
  • Gender-bending comedy average gross = $31M

I think this movie is worth watching. Even though the investors probably lost all their money, and LHJ did not make another movie in their empowerment series.

Joy Fawcett waves

BTW, Joy Fawcett is in this movie, but all she does is stand up and wave to the crowd. The girls’ tournament takes place at a big soccer complex in Santa Clarita. I am not familiar with CalSouth, but I’m jealous of their playing facilities.

6 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 6