Kick It is a coming of age drama about a soccer-loving middle schooler who is broadsided with a cancer diagnosis during 7th year. She find herself navigating her illness at the same time she is dealing with all the usual drama of middle school.
Do I think it is appropriate for family viewing?
KICK IT REVIEW
Kick It is recommended for ages 10+. I think this rating is accurate mostly because the film is heavy on dialogue and a viewer would, not only need to be a good reader, but also have a good vocabulary. If, at some point, this film is dubbed into English, I wouldn’t hesitate to watch it with the whole family. While it does deal with difficult issues — such as sickness and grieving, first crushes and bullying, and, to some extent, religious tolerance — it handles these issues in a gentle, direct manner that would make easy openings to conversation.
This isn’t really a sports film, nor is it really about cancer. It is more a coming of age story with the twist that there is no guarantee the protagonist will come of age. It was definitely a tear-jerker, but the thing I really walked away with was the comparative freedom these Norwegian children had to modern American children. The one kid who didn’t walk to and from school every day was seen as over-protected. The entire class went on a weekend camping trip with two teachers and no parents. The teachers appeared to have more freedom, too. They obviously were allowed to use their own judgment when students’ emotional health needed priority over education.
I also loved the fact that the children were very human with personalities and imperfections, but none of them were villainized. They made mistakes, some of them kind of mean mistakes, but they learned from these choices and became better people.
I felt this was story about living life where you are. Bad things happened. Good things happened. Life stormed on. The every day freedoms these children took for granted actually had no effect on the good and bad that happened, but their life stories and the things they would remember, happened in those every day moments as much as the big things they couldn’t control.
This was my favorite film of this year’s festival. If your child is a relatively strong reader, I would highly recommend catching the last viewing. It is an uplifting family film that is equally appealing to kids and adults, despite the hard subjects it tackles.
This film was originally reviewed as part of the Childish Films section of the 2016 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. FFTC was provided with tickets to facilitate our review. Find more movie reviews from past film festivals here.
KICK IT – DETAILS & VIEWING INFO
You can view the trailer for the film below. These subtitles are not in English, but they will be in English at the MSPIFF viewing.