Movie Clip: Shaolin Soccer, PG-13, Miramax Films
Main Point: True love is sacrificial.
Attention Grabber: Movie – Shaolin Soccer
Shaolin Soccer is a movie based on a comic book. Filmed in China, it is about a retired professional soccer player who discovers a kung fu master named Sing. The two work together to build a soccer team of other kung fu masters, and they compete for big money at a national soccer championship. The movie is pretty funny, using Matrix-like technology to make great but ridiculous soccer matches. It is pretty clean. We’ve included a YouTube link below, and the DVD comes with the original Chinese version (which we use for this discussion), complete with the English subtitles, and the newer English version, which is actually missing a scene or two and is dubbed in English.
Scene: I sing to express my admiration.
In this particular scene, Sing (the main character of the film) sees a girl who uses kung fu techniques to make buns. He is so impressed by her technique that he instantly bursts into song to show her how much he admires her. Another passerby gets caught up in the conversation, as he tries to defend Sing’s silliness of singing to express one’s emotions. The camera zooms in on the passerby’s eye as an explosion detonates, and instantly the man begins to sing. Soon, an entire crowd comes together and dances in the street. It is a great film clip to show just how silly the world’s view of love (as defined by overwhelming emotion) is.
The scene starts at approximately 14:19, when Sing is watching Mui make the buns. Be sure you start after the yin-yang appears in the girl’s batch of dough—could be controversial. The scene ends after the dancing crowd scatters at approximately 19:44.
Important Note For Cuing The Film: The scene is only on the original Chinese version of the movie, so be sure you have selected that option when you first put the DVD in the player.
You know, I was thinking today. I really love the weather. I do. Think about it. Clouds one day, rain another, hot sunny days in the summer… Weather is really cool; I just love it! And not only that, I also love my dad. I love him a lot. And I really love Oreos. Oh man, what I wouldn’t give for some Oreos right now. You know, I also love Jesus. But I love the Macho combo burrito from Del Taco. (In this intro, of course, you can substitute any of these items to suit your taste. I would really recommend putting more emphasis on the lesser items, though, to really show how ironic the use of the word love is.)
Have you guys ever thought about how stupid the word love really is? I mean, I use the same word to show my enjoyment in Oreos that I use to say how much I love my wife. Really think about it. Isn’t that lame? It seems like the word love has actually been killed. Some people think love is about a huge pink and white Valentine’s Day card with big words written in cursive on it. Others think that it is just another word with no meaning at all, while some people think that love is a passionate emotion that overcomes their whole body.
Today we’re talking about love. But before we get into it, let’s watch this video clip that paints a pretty good picture of what the world tries to tell us love is.
SHOW THE CLIP
- LADY: Mui! Ten steamed buns, okay? (LADY throws pot down to MUI.)
SING: (singing) Tai Chi kung fu used to make steamed buns. What a brilliant notion. Fill the pot from heaven with sweet buns, fantastic when done. You’re a kung fu master, I can see, and your homemade treats look so tasty.
MUI: What are you doing?
SING: (now speaking normally) I sing to express my admiration for a kung fu master, because you are truly inspiring. (MUI says nothing.) Wow! So beautiful!
MUI: (turns and hides her face) Don’t mock me. I’m not beautiful.
SING: (grabs a bun from the tray) Your buns are so beautiful. (pops it into his mouth) Wow! So sweet. Was that Shifting Bodies and Transposing Shadows?
MUI: No, that wouldn’t work. It’s Move a Thousand Cattle with Four Tails.
SING: Oh! So that’s how you got it so tender, but also so firm. (pops another bun into his mouth)
MUI: The buns are 50 cents each. Two for a dollar.
SING: That much really?
SING: Well, they are worth every penny, of course. But this is all I have right now. Can I pay you tomorrow?
SING: Good! Spoken with the grace of a true kung fu master. I am a kung fu master myself. Can I pay tomorrow?
SING: Good! (He bends over, takes off shoes, and puts them on the table.) Okay! Here’s the deal. I’ll just have one more bun, and you can keep the shoes. All right?
SING: Good! Come on, give me a break. I really like you. You’re so beautiful. That’s why I sing for you. (He points at MUI and begins to sing again. She bats his hand down.) Aaaaaaahhh…
MUI: Don’t! Stop it! Come on, shut up. (she splashes water on him and he stops.) Just pay for the buns and go on. If you want to sing, do what that guy does. Sing on the subway for quarters.
GUY: Oh, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. (MUI and SING turn to look at him.) This gentleman’s song is creative and sincere. He’s just expressing his heartfelt thoughts and his deepest feelings.
SING: Thank you.
GUY: You’re welcome. (bows) I am also overwhelmed by the impulse to break into song. When I’m inspired, I must unleash it, or else I will… explode. (The camera zooms in on his eye, and you see an explosion go off. GUY begins to sing and dance in place. MUI and SING take a step back. GUY’s dancing becomes more exaggerated, until other people on the street have explosions in their eyes, and they join him until there is a group of people dancing in the street. MUI begins to get into the music.)
RANDOM LADY: (yelling at MUI) Have you lost your mind or what? Stand up straight! Put your arms down! Get to work! (turns to the dancing crowd) You people are demented! Get back to reality! Now! (the crowd scatters.)
I know this scene was really funny, but wouldn’t you agree that this is a lot of what Hollywood and today’s society tries to tell us love is all about? Both you and I know that there is something deeper out there. Guys, I don’t want you to worry right now. I know that even the word itself can turn you off. Trust me, love isn’t a pansy thing. And girls, I know that the word love really peaks some of your interest. But pay attention. Perhaps some of you have the wrong idea about it. Now we are going to break up into our small groups. And when you’re with your group, let’s really see what LOVE is all about. You might be surprised.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is something you love to do?
- ASK A FEW: When you think of the word love, what do you first picture in your brain?
- ASK A FEW: Do you agree that this video clip kind of showed what the world thinks love is?
- ASK A FEW: How do you think the world would want us to believe love is?
- ASK A FEW: How many types of love are out there? Let’s try to make a list of types of love. (Here, you’ll just try to get the kids to think of as many relationships as possible. For example, the most obvious one will be romantic love. And then there is brotherly love, etc. It’s pretty amazing how many different types of love the students will come up with.)
- ASK A FEW: Gosh, we have a lot of ways of using the word love, don’t we? So if you had to define love in one sentence, what would it be?
Read John 15:12, 13
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Quick Tangent for Guys:
- If it is easier for someone to focus on himself instead of putting others first, what should a real man do: what’s easy, or what’s difficult?
You see, love that God calls us to exercise isn’t a weak, pink hearts kind of love. It takes only the toughest guys to be able to truly love people. Do not forget that.
Read John 13:34, 35
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Isn’t it amazing how different real love is from how the world thinks it is? I am so tired of the typical romantic comedy love, which makes us think that if we feel strongly enough about something, then it is definitely love. That’s the same kind of love that we see celebrities have…. for a little while… until they break up.
True love is something that God intended to be a powerful, life-changing thing. It has a deep meaning that is more than just romance, more than just feelings. It is a sacrifice and an action. Love is showing people—and not just the people we like, but also the people we don’t like—that they are more important to us than we ourselves are. If you allow someone to have the better seat at a concert, if you finally play that stupid game your little brother keeps on asking you to play even though you don’t want to, if you do anything that shows someone that they have value, you are showing them love. If you show that you would rather someone else be comfortable than yourself, you are showing them love. And we must remember that Jesus says that this is what we are to be known by. The more you show people love—and remember that this love is not for sissies—the more you prove to them that you are a Christian. At every moment, in every kind of relationship we have, whether with our parents, our best friends, or our enemies, we are either proving to them that we are Christ’s followers, or we are ruining our family name. We must love. We must.
Written by Matt Furby
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.