When audiences receive a comedy from Happy Madison Productions, Adam Sandler’s production company, they know they’re drawn to offbeat characters, many of whom have a lot of heart. This can lead to a mixture of sympathy among the main characters, which is certainly true with a movie like Home team.
Although the film is inspired by the real-life story of an NFL coach’s suspension for unethical practices, the focus is really on his relationship with his son and his underdog football team. son. In the great tradition of The Mighty Ducksor the lesser known The big greenthe children and adults who make up the main characters range from those with inflated egos to those who just want to have fun.
Assistant coach of the children’s soccer team, Mitch is a bit messy. He has a lot of personal issues that tend to carry over to how he treats the kids on the team, and there’s definitely a degree of hero worship when Sean comes to town to see his son.
Mitch seems to be more concerned with looking good and having fun than taking care of the children around him.
Jamie really tries to be a fun guy for football players. He has a lot of ideas about resolving conflict that don’t involve wearing helmets and shoulder pads, and it’s clear he was able to influence some of the kids, like Dennis.
In the end, Jamie just wants to be involved. Even though he doesn’t understand the aggression behind football, he’s always there to support Connor every game, and he even tries his hand at making protein sticks for the team. It backfires when the snack makes the whole team sick, but it’s the thought behind it that counts. Jamie might be more sympathetic if he could relax a bit instead of continually trying to fit into every situation.
Just as Gordon Bombay returns to his roots after getting into trouble in The Mighty Ducks, just like Sean Payton. When suspended, he has nothing else to occupy his time, so he decides to try to reconnect with his 12-year-old son. While it’s good that he’s trying, as he’s been told many times, he wouldn’t have tried if he hadn’t been suspended.
The movie never really clarifies if he actually did the things he’s accused of either; he only tells his son that the situation is complicated. Sean inspires confidence in many players as he brings his expertise to the game, but he also puts many kids in doubt when he continually puts the best players in the game. Sean eventually learns to give all kids a chance, but he it takes him until their last game of the season, and getting yelled at by his son, to do it.
Marcos is not a bad boy and it’s very clear that he cares about his teammates. He isn’t as likable as the other characters, however, as, like Sean, he initially focuses on his importance to the team, not the team as a whole.
It’s not Marcos’ fault since all the adults on the team are constantly reminding everyone that Marcos is their best player. His ego is bigger as a result. Marcos makes it clear that he would do anything for the team, even step down as quarterback for another role that better matches his skill set, which definitely makes him more likable to the public.
It’s clear that Paulie is in this movie purely as comic relief for the team. He constantly gets hit with the football when the kicker gets it wrong, and he spends nearly every practice and game ordering pizza because he knows his hunger will outweigh his desire to play.
Paulie is a relatable football player for the public. He’s just here to have a good time, not because he wants to be a football star. Sure, he likes the game more when the team starts to win, but he’s 12 and he’s not someone who’s going to engage in NFL-level football drills when he just wants to pass. time with his friends.
Sean’s ex-wife is an incredibly understanding person. She marries someone (Jamie) who couldn’t be more different than her ex-husband. She is committed to both her non-violent and vegan practices and understands a lot more about football than she initially lets on.
Beth encourages Sean and Connor to reconnect, but she also understands why Connor might not immediately want to be closer to his own father. Audiences can understand why everyone seems to like it.
Dennis clearly got a thing or two from Jamie yelling in the stands about growing up and resolving conflict without tackling. Although he is in a position that requires him to punch other players, he holds back. Dennis likes the game, but not the violence.
Dennis is also a stereotypical “good kid” for the film. He listens to the coaches’ advice and does his best, he helps his mother cook dinner and he advises Sean when is the right time to run away so his mother can’t continue to flirt with the man. Dennis is nice, and that makes him charming.
The Warriors coach before Sean came to town, Taylor Lautner’s Troy is doing his best to make sure the team has fun as they improve. As a result, he refrains from making the children do anything they might not want to do. Troy may not initially be the best authority figure, but the kids on the team really love him, and he has their best interests at heart.
When Sean starts favoring Connor and Marcos in the final games of the season, Troy tries to be careful of his other players. He doesn’t always communicate with Sean, but he tries to make sure everyone on the team feels included and has fun, and that’s the best thing a 12-year-old coach can do.
Connor initially seems very distant, but that’s because the audience sees him through his father’s eyes. He knows his dad isn’t really in town for him, and he sees that as a disappointment. Connor is the only team member to stand up to his father when he realizes that Sean cares more about looking good than the team.
Connor really wants to have a good time playing football and not have his experience overshadowed by his father’s career choices. He also wants everyone on the team to have a good time. Connor is willing to give up the game if it means his friends get a chance to play too, which is very admirable.
Outside of Connor, Harlan is the most developed football player in movie history. He is the true underdog of the football team.
Harlan has trouble concentrating during games because the girl he has a crush on is in the stands, and it costs him his place as kicker for a time when Sean doesn’t trust him to play. Despite this, Harlan is a nice guy who just wants to be on the team. His entire team also rallies behind him to get his crush’s attention, helping him sing for her —though they end up in the wrong house.
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