Movies about soccer are a popular choice for entertainment at sports-themed parties, especially during the soccer season. Whether you are running an after-game pizza party for a girls’ soccer team or motivating a group of budding female athletes with the perfect soccer movie, these girls’ and women’s soccer movies feature empowering role models for female athletes of many ages. Known in the UK as women’s or girls’ football, girls’ soccer is also a popular sport for female athletes in the United States.
This movie is somewhat of a historical drama about girls’ soccer, teen issues and gender bias in sports. Released in 2007, Gracie is set in the late 70s, before organized women’s sports were common in the United States. It centers around a teenaged girl named Gracie who, after the death of her brother, enters a period of rebellion because her mother and father do not support Gracie’s desire to replace her brother on the soccer team. Gracie is an emotional film that examines gender issues from the perspective of the women’s sports’ situation in the 70s, has some mild swearing, and may not be appropriate or entertaining for kids under 13 years of age.
Kick Like a Girl
Kick Like a Girl is an HBO documentary film, made by filmmaker Jenny Mackenzie, addressing gender biases in soccer, including the put-down, “You kick like a girl.” In this documentary, girls’ soccer team, The Mighty Cheetahs, was undefeated for two seasons in a row, so the coach decides to enter the girls’ team into the boys’ soccer division for a greater challenge. When the all-girls team successfully defeat the boys’ soccer teams, some parents’ reactions expose feelings about sports and gender roles. This is a good film for inspiring participants in girls’ and women’s soccer who hold unhealthy gender attitudes that limit female athletes’ performance. Kick Like a Girl is most appropriate for children who are able to understand gender issues.
And now, for the silly one:
Ladybugs, released in 1992, is a movie starring Rodney Dangerfield and Jonathan Brandis. When a father’s career is riding on the success of a laughably bad girls’ soccer team, he gets his soccer-star son to dress up as a girl to play for the team. Through the son’s participation in the team, the girls’ learn to play better soccer and learn the value of their own talents as female athletes. Dangerfield played the hapless father coaching youth soccer. Ladybugs has some saucy humor but is entertaining for tweens and teens.
Women’s and girls’ soccer movies can be a great way to motivate female athletes and address tough issues like gender bias and sexism in sports. As always, making sure that the girls’ or women’s soccer movies are age-appropriate for the soccer party is an important step when choosing a movie for a group of kids, especially those of mixed ages.