“Home Team” is another heartwarming sports movie


Image courtesy of Netflix

“Home Team” is the true story of Sean Payton, coach of New Orleans Saints. The film is streaming now on Netflix.

Tegan Ruhl, Staff Writer

Did you enjoy the classic inspirational sports films like “The Sandlot” and “Remember the Titans?” If so, you just might enjoy “Home Team.” 

After being suspended for a year over a supposed scandal, the coach for the New Orleans Saints, Sean Payton (Kevin James), returns back to his hometown to try and reconnect with his son, Connor (Tait Blum). After watching his son’s youth football team get demolished, Payton agrees to help Troy Lambert (Taylor Lautner) coach the team. 

Although Sean is still desperate to regain his old job, he grows closer to his son while realizing the joy of connecting with the kids on the team. Sean not only reclaims his leadership calling by coaching the youth team, but he finally realizes that you don’t have fun by winning, you win by having fun. 

This movie surprised me in a lot of ways. Considering this is a Happy Madison Productions film, I expected this to be like the cheesy and/or terrible Adam Sandler movies that have come out in the past 10 years (no offense to my Adam Sandler fans out there). However, “Home Team” did not take after this model at all. 

First, this movie is not filled with a lot of cheap and stupid humor. Not that this is always bad, but “Home Team” used a tasteful amount of these two attributes. The movie was more focused on the story of connection rather than crude humor, which is appropriate considering “Home Team” is based on a true story. 

Secondly, the movie is fun in its own way. Like I mentioned before, Happy Madison movies are known for their crude humor or dirty jokes that are funny yet kind of disgusting. (Think “Grown Ups 2” or “Jack and Jill”). Even when compared to movies like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” “Home Team” is like a nice refresher in the Happy Madison series. 

The humor in the movie is definitely middle school-level humor. While that was so 10 years ago, part of me felt somewhat like a kid again. I wasn’t expecting that little glimpse of nostalgia, yet I was pleasantly surprised. 

Finally, this movie is definitely aimed at families. While that’s obvious considering the plot, I need to emphasize this point more because it stuck out to me while I was watching. Everything is just really wholesome, or at least tries to be wholesome, which I can respect. This movie could almost be something I’d watch in youth group as a kid (almost, not quite). 

While the Happy Madison movie may not be filled with its typical star-studded cast, I still think this movie showed a lot of potential. Part of me is hoping that the company will steer in a new direction with the movies they produce. Part of me still wants to hold onto the classic humor of “Happy Gilmore.” It’s a conflicting matter, believe me, but if Happy Madison can find the right balance between the two, then I think the company has a bright future ahead of them. 

Even though “Home Team” did not live up to the great legacy of sports movies, such as “The Sandlot” and “Remember the Titans,” the movie is still memorable in its own way. I’d give this film a 3 out of 5. 

To my sports fans, this movie may be a hit or miss for you (I’m not a sports person, so don’t hold too fast in my opinion). To my average, everyday people, give this movie a shot. You’ll probably enjoy it.