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Switching Goals

Starring: Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen
Director: David Steinberg
Genre: Comedy
Year: 1999
Rating: 2 / 5

Some movies are all about expectations, or at least that is what I told myself as I sat down for Switching Goals, another in the endless stream of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen star vehicles. These two pint-size terrors have their own production company and continue to churn out family fare year after year. (It seems that those people who marked Full House as the high point of their careers were a little bit off.) This latest offering, about two very different sisters, is a light-hearted comedy that is cute and charming. Substance may be hard to come by, but it managed to entertain me for an hour and a half, which was more than I was expecting.

Sam (Mary-Kate Olsen) and Emma (Ashley Olsen) are twin daughters, the former a star athlete and the latter a popular scholar. Sam is clearly the favorite of father Jerry (Eric Lutes, Caroline in the City), a man whose local soccer team is his pride and joy. With the daughters nearing their teen years, Jerry's league is officially made co-ed, allowing girls to play for the first time. It is no secret that Jerry wants Sam on his team, yet his wife insists that he make Emma his top choice. After all, fathers cannot play favorites, and the confidence boost Emma would receive from being selected would be tremendous.

As the teams are selected, Emma finds herself out of place on her father's competitive, star-studded team. She is not having fun, and her father clearly misses having the more talented Sam on his team. Meanwhile, Sam finds herself surrounded by a band of misfits, guided by a coach whose only concern - gasp! - is having fun. The girls devise an ingenious plan: what if they switch places? Sam could join her father's team, helping to lead it to yet another league title, while Emma could simply enjoy herself goofing off with her fellow misfits. When their father buys into the harebrained scheme, everything seems perfect for the twins, until their mother gets wind of the planů

Does Switching Goals cover any new cinematic ground? Alas, this film is about tried and true film cliches, yet it does manage to please. The two leads are rather likeable, while Eric Lutes delivers a competitive father who is actually quite cuddly underneath. Due to the film's relatively short length, it never drags, and I must say that I actually found myself wondering how the film would end. Surprisingly, the ending does not disappoint, nor does the film. It may amount to little more than fluff and simple family entertainment, but this film fan has sat through a lot worse in his day.


Mary-Kate Olsen..........Sam Stanton
Ashley Olsen..........Emma Stanton
Eric Lutes..........Jerry Stanton

Certification: Rated G.
Running Time: 90 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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