Story

A Second Chance: Rivals! is a sequel to the 2011 Australian gymnastics drama A Second Chance, featuring many actors from the original cast.

Set 10 years after the events of the original movie, former world-class gymnast Maddie Cornell (Emily Morris) is experiencing a personal crisis after a serious accident on the beam ends her Olympic dream. To recover physically and emotionally, Maddie seeks refuge in the South Australian countryside, staying with family friend Beverly (Carmel Johnson), who coaches the local gymnastics team.

Maddie reluctantly agrees to coach the young team and train them for the national championships. A lot of hard work lies ahead for the young country girls if they want to beat their archenemies from the city.

Themes

Coming of age; gymnastics; competitive sports; rivalry; social pressure; cyberbullying; girl friendships; living for a passion; loss and grief

Violence

A Second Chance: Rivals! has some violence. For example:

  • Some characters engage in cyberbullying, like posting mean comments about other competitors in a gymnastics forum.
  • Characters make some mild verbal threats in the context of competitive sport.

Sexual references

A Second Chance: Rivals! has some sexual references. For example, there’s some mild romance when Maddie is encouraged to go on a date with a young man. At the end she accepts the invitation along with a rose, and they hug as people applaud.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

None noted.

Product placement

None noted.

Coarse language

A Second Chance: Rivals! has some mild coarse language. For example, as part of the cyberbullying in the movie, characters say people are ‘fat’, ‘ugly’, ‘sulky’ and ‘useless’.

Ideas to discuss with your children

A Second Chance: Rivals! is a predictable yet charming and entertaining sequel to its 2011 predecessor.

Like the original, this coming-of-age family drama features impressively talented junior gymnasts and gives an insight into the risks, sacrifices, glories and successes of competitive junior sport. With an almost exclusively female cast and a plot about a group of 12-year-old gymnasts, this movie is likely to appeal mostly to female pre-teens and teenagers.

These are the main messages from this movie:

  • Follow your heart and your passion.
  • You can’t always win and that’s OK.
  • Be a fair loser, take defeat with grace, and learn lessons from it.
  • To succeed, you need to work hard and set your mind on your goals.
  • Trust your own abilities and instincts.
  • Take advice from people whom you trust.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include family bonds, friendship, forgiveness, fairness, diligence and discipline.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk about real-life issues like:

  • cyberbullying and its psychological consequences for victims
  • the dangers of social media and the internet
  • social pressures related to appearance and body image and how these can lead to problems like eating disorders
  • dangerous and unrealistic images on girls and women on the internet and in competitive sport.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the importance of cultural diversity and embracing Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.