Story

Joseph Kingman (Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson) is the highly successful but selfish quarterback for the Boston Rebels Gridiron team. He 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). The seven-year-old Peyton provides hard evidence that Joe really is her father. She announces that she will be staying with him while her mother goes on a humanitarian trip to Africa.

Joe begrudgingly accepts the situation, as does his agent, Stella (Kyra Sedgewick). In fact, Stella attempts to get what publicity she can out of the situation. 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 also gained a family.

Themes

Death and separation from a parent; family relations

Violence

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

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

  • Joe takes Peyton with him to a restaurant launch. When he goes home, he forgets to take her with him. Peyton looks for him in the crowded restaurant and appears scared.
  • Peyton suffers an allergic reaction to nuts and is rushed to hospital unconscious.
  • Peyton and Joe argue.

Over 8

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

Sexual references

None

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Joe has a New Year’s eve party, during which people are seen drinking alcohol. In another scene depicting the launch of Joe’s restaurant, patrons are shown drinking wine and beer. 

Nudity and sexual activity

None

Product placement

None

Coarse language 

This movie contains very mild put-downs.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Game Plan is a lightweight comedy about the importance of family love over material wealth. This movie might appeal to young girls, but is likely to be of limited interest to adolescents and adults. There are some strained slapstick and comic moments, and scenes contrasting the rigours of ballet and football training are among the few highlights.

This movie present some issues you could talk about with your children, such as:

  • putting your family first
  • striving to do your best
  • breaking down gender stereotypes.

You could also discuss the issues of separation from a parent, lying and being selfish.