Released 07/01/1992 Rated: PG
I’m not a big sports fan, but I love me such a movie that will make me question why I’m not. Usually for me these movies are more dramas than I’m interested in, but A League of Their Own mixes in enough comedy to keep me well entertained. And how can you not be entertained by a drunkard Tom Hanks in charge of an all-girls baseball team? Honestly, they couldn’t have gotten anyone better.
In the early 1940s WWII is threatening the Major Baseball League as many of their top players are going off to war. What is the solution to this crisis in American entertainment? Form a women’s league, duh. And thus the All American Girl’s Professional Baseball League was born; a league that lasted for little over a decade.
I loved how the newsreels featured the girls individually in a way that reminded the general public of the 1940s that they were still women and did things like wear make-up and make coffee. There’s no doubt in my mind that they did that in real life, but I can’t tell if it was an attempt to make the players more relatable, or to remind everyone that they are all still women and normally behave accordingly. Because up until this point, with the rare exception, women were considered homemakers, and nothing else. That’s just what ran through my mind with this recent viewing. The scout in the beginning of the movie even says he’s looking for lookers in the players. They needed to draw in a crowd, and the big men behind it all didn’t want ugly women who could play. I love how Dottie and Kit stand up to the scout when he almost passes on taking Marla. It’s a ridiculous notion to pass on someone who has talent if they don’t look certain way. Unfortunately this is still in practice in our society today, and it’s a shame.
Anyway. My only problem with this movie is that either Geena Davis or her character shows very little emotional range throughout the movie. She says she doesn’t need it, she acts like she doesn’t need it, but we’re supposed to believe that playing baseball is in her blood. I just would have liked to have seen it a little more. Minus that and the sappy 80s music in the beginning, this movie is great. I love the sibling rivalry between Dottie and Kit. I love each of the women we get attached to. And I love how creative the women got to try to generate fans for their league. I guess the old adage is true: a woman has to work twice as hard to get half the recognition of a man. I think they knocked it out of the park, especially having to play in those skirts.