Making the Grades
The Sandlot is a story full of sentimentality. It is also one of the very few stories that really seems to portray the way life was for young boys thirty years ago.
In the fashion of the television show, The Wonder Years, Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) begins the movie as an adult, and starts reminiscing about a summer when baseball was the only reason for a young boy to live. At this point we drift back to the past, with Scotty providing voice over commentary through a series of bizarre, but through the eyes of memory, believable events.
This movie has good values and presents an accurate portrayal of life, with only a couple of exceptions. One is where Squints, a boy on the team with very thick glasses, decides to get the lifeguard's attention at the pool. After too many closeups of her chest, Squints finally takes the plunge into the deep end, hoping to be rescued. Sure enough, he gets to meet his infatuation mouth to mouth. She is not amused, but still treats Squints to a bit too friendly wave goodbye. Not very likely, especially with a male lifeguard also present.
However, the good points far outnumber the bad, and even the language is accurate. When I was a kid, we didn't use the profanity we hear from kids now, and this movie remembers that. Along with a string of double-dares and other grossities, the worse thing you could tell anyone is they played like a girl, and that line is issued in the script, complete with the shock it demanded. Another scene has the boys treating themselves to a bag of chewing tobacco, and paying for it for days to come.
The Sandlot is a movie that finally shows how much fun kids can have. The environment, AIDS, and violence on the street are non-existent. It's just a summer of honest fun, where mistakes are made, consequences are felt, and lessons are learned.