A League of Their Own Retro Talk; Grade: B+
Welcome back to another edition of Retro Talk! Well Happy Memorial Day to you all, I hope all of you enjoyed your fabulous weekend. Now typically this holiday is celebrated from those that fought for this country, while also enjoying a full day of baseball from Morning till Dawn. Unfortunately due to quarantining we won't be able to enjoy our favorite ball clubs, I surely miss my Red Sox. But let's discuss an acclaimed baseball classic: A League of Their Own!
A League of Their Own came out summer time in 1992! The film had a budget of forty million and made one hundred thirty two million, profiting over ninety million in return! The film went on to receive two Golden Globe nominations, including Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical Geena Davis and Best Original Song! While also receiving praise from the audience and critics, the film has been celebrated for over twenty five years! So where does this film rank in my Best Baseball Films of All Time List?! Well let's find out shall we!
A League of Their Own tells a story about a couple sisters Dottie (Geena Davis) and Kit (Lori Petty) whom enjoy playing the game of baseball, but work in the diary department. Since World War Two was going on, as major league baseball players volunteered to help fight for their country, Major League Baseball was in jeopardy of shutting down the league. A well known business man came up with a solution to their problem: GPBL aka Girls Professional Baseball League! Dottie and Kit get called up to play, as a scout discovered the gals from a game, as they headed off to Chicago to try out for the team! Watch as these ladies work their way to make the GPBL a successful league, where there was much doubt on the idea!
I can see why many people would love a film like A League of Their Own: It truly feels like an American classic. You have baseball, mixed with an underdog story for not only the gals of this league, but one particular manager over coming his alcoholic ways... It doesn't get anymore American than that! I really enjoy what this story is based off from: Girls leading the way, while the men were off fighting for their country, I find it so awesome! I always wonder since College Softball gets a nice reputation, what would a world would look like if we had a professional baseball league for girls?! I mean we do have the WNBA, so I was always curious how it would do and what kind of tremendous talent it can bring?! Sure it won't be as thrilling as the MLB, but certainly it could actually be fun. The league only lasted a decade and a year plus, but I wonder since we live in different times, it could certainly rise up again.
A League of Their Own is a standard visual experience, that does rise to the occasion was lovely score made by Hans Zimmer. The fact that Hans Zimmer composed the Score for a sports film was a pretty interesting approach, due to the fact he's more into more serious films, so it was nice to see him make music for a film that is more playful. It's a lovely Score, it felt very relaxing and even exciting: Both elements that compliment the vibe of a ball game. A League of Their Own also shines with an entertaining rounded cast. Geena Davis playing the lead character Dottie was great in this film, easily the coolest character of the entire film. In a way Dottie reminds me of Robert Redford's character in The Natural: A Talented Ball Player, That Has Swag, and is Kind of a Mystery. Every time Dottie was on screen it's literally like watching a celebrity on the red carpet. I enjoyed Geena's chemistry with Lori Petty as they compliment each other as sisters. Lori Petty playing Kit was pretty rad. Kit though not as pretty nor as talented of a ball player as her sister.. She is such a feisty little thing, whom happens to be an extremely competitive pitcher. She honestly reminds me of John Lackey in a way.
What makes A League of Their Own shine is the supporting cast... They are just as entertaining as the leading cast members. You got Tom Hanks playing the manager for one of the ball clubs, as this is classic Tom Hanks we all come to love and respect. "CRYING?! THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!" Tom Hanks is absolutely terrific in this role, delivering a great amount of laughs as his character is extremely well written as well. Then you have Madonna playing one of the ball players, as I thought she was a surprise. May not be as great as Lady Gaga in A Star is Born, however she plays an extremely entertaining performance, as she looked like she had a ball playing this role. All my life I wondered what the hell was Rosie O'Donnel known for?! Rosie absolutely crushed her role in this film, I found her extremely entertaining as it brought me answers to my curiosity. One of the only things about the cast I'm actually bummed out about, is not enough Jon Lovitz playing the Scout in the beginning... Man this character was freaking hilarious, I really wish he had more scenes, he really steals the show in every scene he's in.
If there's one major flaw to discuss in A League of Their Own, is the fact they rushed the World Series portion. I get the fact this film is two hours long... But in a series that had a team have a 3-1 lead, then the other team came back to tie it and force a game seven.... I mean I wanted to see some intense baseball scenes of this series, it sounded like one of the best series ever played in baseball, it's a damn shame this film skims over it.
A League of Their Own to me is one of the most beloved baseball films I've ever seen. The story is well written, that brings you a lot of emotions. You feel happy, sad, laughter, and heartbreak all in one... A very rounded film. The film is extremely entertaining in the comedic side, but has a lot of personality as the characters are extremely enjoyable and interesting to watch on screen. You truly never feel bored once while watching this film, it's just a blast from start to finish. What I find extremely fascinating, is how times have truly changed. The reception of these girls playing baseball, as the reaction from even women themselves was shocking compared to today's world. I mean girls today would KILL for a league like this to exist now... As some women thought it was un-lady like, as they didn't approve of women taking on a mans game.. Sheesh! In the third act I was honestly scared of potential cliches to occur, however the film does intend to impress, as it goes towards a different approach. I enjoy the silly plot twist at the end, though I saw it coming a mile away, but I'm glad it didn't result in displaying a scene we've seen a thousand times before. I appreciate the competitive nature when Kit was up to bat, as Dottie tried to win the game by giving the pitcher her weakness, rather than her getting a fair shot in winning the ball game. The finale where the ball players are old now, as the league inducts them to the Hall of Fame was a very touching conclusion. As far as rankings go for Best Baseball Film of All Time... This is up there, it's going to be a nice debate between Fever Pitch and A League of Their Own... Shut up Fever Pitch is AWESOME!
Overall, A League of Their Own is well deserved of it's classic baseball film reputation, as I found this to be a great film. I highly recommend checking this one out if you haven't done so, even if you're not a baseball fan surely you'll enjoy it much so as a movie goer as well. While you're at: Go watch A Secret Love on Netflix as well, a documentary featuring a ball player from the story this film was based on as well! Before we go, I like to say something. To the people on social media spreading hate/negativity because people are out living life to the fullest... You do realize you're doing nothing, but supporting the problem to go on?! Instead of hoping for the worst case scenario, why not hope for the best?! This mind set is unhealthy, like get some help. As for the rest of you: Gods got all of you man, don't worry/stress whatever these miserable people say. Live Life, Stay Safe everybody, God Bless. -Mitch