Making the Grades
Besides being a resort destination for the rich, Cape Cod's claim to fame is an elite amateur baseball team comprised of some of the best college contenders in the country. Ryan Dunne (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is the first local boy in years lucky enough to show off his pitching skills in this prime picking ground for big league scouts.
If you think this last chance to cut loose from his lawn mowing day job and achieve his life's dream will be sufficient motivation to help him focus on his game, you're wrong. Ryan's resolve quickly dissolves with the offer of beer and a good time from his buddies and the town hussy. This Summer Catch offers a mitt full of distractions including self-pity, anger mismanagement, and Tenley Parish (Jessica Biel), the bra-neglecting daughter of his wealthiest customer.
Yet it's hard to blame Ryan for getting sidetracked when the entire script seems to suffer from the same problem. More interested in the off-diamond play of the characters, the movie features an innocent young ballplayer who is invited to share in his house-mom's sexual obsessions that involve vegetables, a young man whose attraction to overweight females provides plenty of occasions for his teammates to make condescending remarks, a couple of beer-drinking cooler-toting buddies, and a young woman whose trademarks are straddling her date in order to pour beer into his mouth from a bottle clasped between her knees and exchanging her thong for her sexual partner's underwear (adding some cheeky rear male nudity and some tight front shots to the mix). The bar plays such a pivotal position to the plot that this much-frequented setting is the backdrop for a brawl resulting from team rivalry.
Including the portrayal of meddling parents that are critical of their children's choices, some colorful language and many crude expressions, Summer Catch offers a trite "believe in yourself" philosophy, and "let's get a beer" as the solution to life's frustrations. It tries to appeal to its young audience by covering all the bases: a rebellious attitude, sex, beer... oh! and baseball.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Summer Catch.
Friends and family offer Ryan advice as he faces the pressure of playing baseball, including taking pride in what he does even if his achievements are small, and never giving up on what he wants. How well do you feel he follows their counsel? Does the ending of the film show determination or more abandonment?
Characters in this film are constantly drinking. What effect can this behavior have on an athlete’s abilities?
For more information on Cape Cod’s premier baseball league, check out their website at: www.capecodbaseball.org