Friday, March 1, 2013

A League of Their Own (1992)

The relationship between rival baseball-playing sisters Kit and Dottie is what lies at the heart of "A League of their Own." The film is set against the backdrop of World War II, where able-bodied men were sent to fight and society wanted it both ways- for women to step up to the task of "man's work" while staying true to their femininity.

Well-liked Dottie (Geena Davis) and tomboyish Kit (Lori Petty) live a tough and mostly uneventful life on a dairy farm in Rural Oregon in the 40's. When obnoxious agent Ernie Capadino (John Lovitz) offers them a chance to play baseball professionally, Kit jumps at the chance, but Ernie wants Dottie, resulting in a ultimatum -- Kit can tag along if Dottie comes too.

Kit has never felt as capable, beautiful, or talented as Dottie, and resentment colors her behavior throughout the film. Dottie reluctantly comes to the tryouts, and she and Kit end up on the same team, the Peaches. Sound like a recipe for trouble?

It is, and Kit is in competition with Dottie throughout most of the film, culminating in a finale where tears are shed, bonds are tested, and the only thing bigger than the sister's strained relationship is the bigger picture -- the liberation -- and eventual attempted stifling -- of women in the sports scene.

You don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this movie, and the result is a highly entertaining -- if Hollywood -- comedy/drama. Tom Hanks is fun as a once-great alcoholic manager who is put in charge -- much to his disgust -- of the girls team. For me the most engrossing story was that of Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh,) a dowdy, painfully shy Daddy's Girl who is considered too unattractive to play at a time in women's' sports when keeping up appearances was considered more important than skill or speed.

Controversial public figures Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell play "all the way" Mae and Doris Murphy, two white-trash loudmouths who somehow make it (not on good taste) into the Peaches. Regretfully, I didn't find either of the sisters as compelling as I'd have liked to. However, with the movie covering the bigger picture (World War II, feminism, the personalities of the other girls), it's hard to picture the director doing more with the two-hour format.

I think "A League of Their Own" has a lot to offer everybody. I generally won't even give movies that focus on sports a chance, and this movie entertained me with its mix of funny and bittersweet moments. It is, at its best, a joy to watch a baseball movie for people who have never seen a game in their life.


  1. awwww....A League of their Own reminds me of my own sister because we used to watch this one when we were younger. I love Tom Hanks in it. And my fav line in the movie is ARE YOU CRYING? THERES NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! lol
    Interestingly enough, several years ago hubby and I met one of the ladies who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She was kind enough to give us her signed card.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  2. Cool review. For whatever reason, I remember actually seeing this in theaters. Like you mentioned, I thought that O'Donnell and Madonna were kind of annoying and cartoonish (at least, as far as I remember). For a kid, the biggest redeeming quality of the flick was Hanks. He cracked me up.

    I wouldn't mind re-watching this now as an adult, and seeing more than just dames playing baseball.

    Yeah, I was a pretty hardcore kid.

  3. I looove this movie to bits :) I haven't seen it in forever though. It might be time for a re-watch!

  4. Good lord! It's been a very long time since I laid eyes on this one. I used to watch it regularly. Great little film with excellent performances across the board. Whatever happened to Geena Davis and Lori Petty. They've both disappeared.


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