Making the Grades
Most baseball movies, along with many other sports movies, are filled to the brim with cliches and bottom-of-the-ninth winning finishes. As a result, I go into any baseball movie with a bad attitude, and expect to see the same scenes over and over.
Happily, Little Big League threw me a curve ball I was not expecting. The story is about 11-year-old Billy Heywood (Luke Edwards) and the summer he inherits the Minnesota Twins baseball team. He is given the opportunity to live the dream of many young boys, and for some strange reason, this movie makes you think that this could almost be possible.
Billy is a quiet boy that doesn't usually boast or brag. He plays little league, but not very well. What he is good at is reciting every rule of baseball and can recall plays from decades before he was born. He has a knack for using this information to solve problems on the field, which is why he decides to make himself manager of the team. Now, he is the boss, and the adult players have a hard time accepting the 11 year old's instructions. For the remainder of the movie, the conflict and eventual acceptance between the players and Billy is the main concentration of the story.
So why do I give a movie I like so much a C+? I'm critical of kids in sexual situations. In one scene, Billy is staying in his hotel room alone and discovers the hotel pornography channel. We are treated to a small mild clip from a fictional movie, but why does this have to be included? Later after his mother gets the huge video bill, she tells him sweetly that he cannot watch those movies anymore. This is one of the few times the writers forget Billy is 11. In addition, I found the language harsh, especially when adults are addressing the kids. Screen the movie first if you can, because otherwise, this movie is close to a home run.