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There have been better days for Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner), a nineteen year pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. Having just got word that the team is being sold and the new owners want to trade him, Chapel's burden is even heavier when Jane (Kelly Preston), his long-term on-again off-again girlfriend calls to say goodbye before moving to England. With all these issues and a tiring arm, Chapel wonders if it isn't time to quit, but not until he gives today's last game of the season his best pitch.
A few hours later, he's musing on the mound in the middle of a no-hitter against the Yankees who are vying for the pennant in their home stadium. With the crowd taunting him and his arm continuing to act up, Chapel hasn't even considered how close he is to a perfect game. Instead his thoughts are on Jane, and through a series of flashbacks, we discover why he's struck out in this relationship.
From a marketing point of view, this ought to be the perfect double play with moments that appeal to sports enthusiasts and hopeless romantics. But while the peanut eaters will find the precisely choreographed baseball plays exciting, those with sensitive hearts may feel like they've been left with the shells.
Chapel and Jane's fear of making a commitment doesn't stop them from having sex just hours after meeting -- and she doesn't even like baseball. The frustrations build with Jane living in New York and Chapel's work only allowing him to see her occasionally (although at least once he finds a substitute for her affection). That leaves the audience privy to many scenes of pointless dialogue while these two seek elusive happiness in an "open" relationship.
Parents will notice fouls in the language far outnumber those on the field and alcohol is often used to celebrate and to comfort; but even more critical is that this game holds far too many unlikely scenarios. A happily-ever-after romance involving two directionless people and Kevin Costner on the verge of pitching a perfect game? Now that's what I call a field of dreams
For Love Of The Game is rated PG-13: for brief strong language and some sexuality
Cast: Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly
Studio: (pictures (c) 1999 Universal Studios)