A League of Their Own

Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Reddit0Tweet about this on Twitter

starstarstarstarhalf

“A chick flick with balls…and strikes.”

Deserving credit for being about the only female sports film of note, this is actually pretty good, despite a pointless and schmaltzy wraparound, which gives us nothing but some wrinkly baseball, one of Madonna’s least memorable songs and Geena Davis as a thoroughly unconvincing pensioner. Which is a shame; if the bread in the sandwich is stale, the meat is tasty and filling.

From 1943 to 1954, women played professional baseball, a fact largely forgotten until this film. Davis plays the star catcher, taken from the countryside to play ball – giving a new meaning to “farm team”, hohoho – along with her sister (Petty). The movie covers the first season, under a recovering alcoholic coach (Hanks), leading to a face-off between siblings in Game 7 of the championship.

Davis is excellent and entirely convincing (she’d go on to make final trials for the US 2000 Olympic archery team): the interplay between her and Hanks is great, and most of her team-mates are also true personalities. However, Madonna is superfluous, given the similar presence of Rosie O’Donnell [I’m struggling to avoid obvious jokes here]. Jon Lovitz steals the first quarter as an acidic scout, and it’s a shame when he leaves.

If the characters are great, there’s a lack of narrative drive; how can you get excited over playoffs, when it looks like every team qualifies? The friction between Davis and Petty vanishes for much of the movie, in favour of a series of entertaining but – being honest – unimportant diversions. When we reach the finale though, it’s great; ever bit as exciting as any World Series Game 7. And coming from an Arizona Diamondbacks fan, that’s praise indeed.

Dir: Penny Marshall
Star: Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks, Rosie O’Donnell

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed