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A League of Their Own (1992)

April 8, 2010

7/10 Insensitive Coaches

Was not expecting to like this.

A League of Their Own is about a farm girl and her tomboy sister in the ’40s who get recruited to play in the first female baseball league while all the male ballplayers are overseas fighting the Jerries for Uncle Sam during WWII. Slowly but surely, our country bumpkins show the folks that they can play ball with the best of ’em as they change the hearts and minds of all those jerks who think there’s no crying in baseball.

It’d been a long, long time since I first saw this back in grade school, and even though I remember liking it back then, as the years went by I more or less found myself equating it with female bonding at slumber parties. Let’s not kid ourselves, this isn’t exactly an outlandish connection to make by any means, but I also feel like kind of idiot that I’ve allowed myself to become so jaded.

Men, right? I know.

Yeah, it’s a chick flick and the reason I found myself watching this again despite my ungrounded bias is because that’s what a good boyfriend does, but, as usual, it pays to be the good boyfriend. Now, I’ve seen my fair share of Nicholas Sparks tear-orgies and Sex and the City re-runs, but every once in a while a chick flick comes along that actually transcends its “girl power” title and matching poster of women throwing their hats in the air like Mary Tyler Moore; it’s not often, but this is one of those instances.

As a man in today’s world, it can be hard to stand up and admit to your fellow brethren that you liked A League of Their Own. It’s no easy feat, believe me, my hands are shaking like a meth freak as a write this. But a lot of the credit in this regard goes to one man: Tom Hanks.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Tom Hanks is the man. He’s awesome as the alcoholic, he-man-woman-hater coach of the Rockford Peaches, Jimmy Dugan, and it makes me miss the days of pre-Philadelphia Tom. Not to steal his thunder as one of the best dramatic actors out there today, but Tom really is a funny dude with a great sense of humor and that totally comes across here. And he’s also got the best line of the movie…

Geena Davis explaining why she’s quitting the team: “It just got too hard.”

Tom Hanks being the man: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard…is what makes it great.”

Damn right. That’s what she said.

But as much as I love Tom, he’s not the only reason this movie’s good. The whole cast in general is solid, Geena Davis is good our heroine, Dottie (I like her, where’d she go?) and the script manages to be continually entertaining without getting too girly. It’s a lot of cute fun and there’s a Bill Pullman cameo thrown in for good measure. The world needs more BP cameos.

It’s also neat to look back at a time when Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell were actually fun instead of batshit crazy. Remember The Rosie O’Donnell Show? Funny stuff. What the hell happened?

Unfortunately, the team cheer/lullaby of the Rockford Peaches is about as feminine as the Indigo Girls and I couldn’t help but laugh at how damn corny it was every time someone started singing it. But as far as eye-roll moments go, that’s the only thing I can think of.

I never thought I’d be writing this, but A League of Their Own is good stuff. Don’t go jumping the gun and strike up a conversation about this at poker night with the fellas, but for a movie that I was highly skeptical about, I’m happy to report that it ended up being a win-win for everyone involved.

And hey, Tank Girl is in it! Remember Tank Girl? Yeah, me neither.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2010 2:36 am

    Ha. Love the review, although I’ll disagree on Hanks being the man. I just find him to be bleh, and Sex and the City is not bad (the movies are another story). Geena Davis is pretty good here. The movie’s nice and easy and with a whole lot of heart, yet never schmaltzy.

  2. movienewsfirst permalink
    April 8, 2010 3:51 am

    Good to see another fan of this film. I really enjoyed it too:) Have seen it a few times now, it’s a great one to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon! And Geena Davis rocks it. I’m with you on Tom Hanks, he’s great in practically every film he has been in so far.

  3. Moose permalink
    April 8, 2010 9:50 am

    I’m surprised you were skeptical about this film. I’ve always found it to be a good movie that “dudes” don’t really have to be afraid of admitting that they like. And Tom Hanks is the man, wicked funny in this movie.

    • April 8, 2010 10:39 am

      Hahaha, avoid the clap. That was great. Yeah, I don’t know what it was, too much estrogen associated with this one I think.

  4. April 8, 2010 10:15 am

    I remember watching this film briefly. Rosie sticks out the most in my mind. Might have to go watch this to refresh my mind. I do not remember it being bad or shitty, because for some reason those types of films stick in my mind like a crappy song you can not get out of your head. Thanks for the review ;)!

  5. April 8, 2010 11:49 am

    “There’s no crying in baseball”. Such a stupid line that yet is so great and basically sums up this classic. Great Review!

  6. Ryan permalink
    April 8, 2010 12:53 pm

    I remember Tank girl… She was also in In the Army Now with Pauly Shore…

    • April 8, 2010 7:59 pm

      One of these days I’m gonna do a Pauly Shore marathon with you, man. I feel like I’m missing out on The Weasel.

  7. April 8, 2010 4:07 pm

    You had me at “the world needs more Bill Pullman cameos.”

    • April 8, 2010 5:47 pm

      Seriously. What the hell happened to Pullman’s career?

  8. April 8, 2010 5:58 pm

    Geena Davis’s attractive enough but when she smiles you see too much gum. Not a good tooth-to-gum ratio.

  9. April 8, 2010 11:06 pm

    Remember that horrid TV Show it spawned? Jon Lovitz was the lead. Yeah…

  10. April 10, 2010 6:33 pm

    I just watched this again the other day and it is still a good film. I started weeping when the old hags started singing the ladies league theme at the end… of course I was drunk!

  11. April 11, 2010 6:45 am

    always well up at the end of this
    great film
    yes, i am a girl

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