Australian Council on Children and the Media

Game Plan, The

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Short takes

PG under 8 (Disturbing scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Game Plan, The
  • a review of Game Plan, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 November 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance recommended due to disturbing scenes.
Children over 8 OK without parental guidance

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Game Plan, The
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 110 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Joseph Kingman (Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson) is the highly successful but selfish quarterback for the Boston Rebels Gridiron team, who lives by the motto “Never say NO!” His very structured and football-focused life is turned upside down by the unexpected and unwanted appearance of his hitherto unknown daughter, Peyton (Madison Pettis). Seven-year-old Peyton provides Joe with evidence of his paternity and, as her mother has had to go on a humanitarian trip to Africa, tells Jo she will be staying with him.
Joe begrudgingly accepts the situation, as does his agent, Stella (Kyra Sedgewick), who attempts to get what publicity she can out of the turn of events. Joe tries to maintain his season with the Rebels, but discovers that Peyton’s presence requires him to take on unwanted responsibilities and make compromises.
Through Peyton, Joe begins to see a life outside of the competitive and commercial world of football. Meanwhile, in Joe’s footballing world Peyton discovers that she has gained more than a father figure; she has gained a family.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Death and separation from a parent; Family relations

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • There are a few aggressive football tackles.
  • Joe knocks down another player and taunts him.
  •  Joe is seriously hurt in the season ending game.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under five, including the following:

  • Joe has a restaurant launch, which Peyton attends. Joe goes home, forgetting to take Peyton. She looks for Joe in the crowded restaurant and appears scared.
  • Peyton suffers an allergic reaction to nuts and is rushed to hospital unconscious.
  • Arguments between Peyton and Joe.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children over 8 are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Joe has a New Year’s eve party, during which people are seen drinking alcohol
  • Wine and beer are drunk at Joe’s restaurant launch.

Coarse language

Mild putdowns, including “stupid”.

In a nutshell

The Game Plan is a lightweight comedy about the importance of family love over material wealth. This movie may have appeal to young girls, but is likely to be of limited interest to adolescents and adults. There are some strained slapstick and comedic moments, and scenes contrasting the rigours of the ballet and football training are amongst the few highlights.
Values that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Putting your family first
  • Striving to do your best
  • Breaking down gender stereotypes.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the real-life consequences of

  • Separation from a parent
  • Lying
  • Being selfish

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