SP (1) For Love of the Game (1999)

Movie critics who don’t like Kevin Costner and who find the film itself a bit drawn out and boring have panned this film but most baseball fans will tell you it speaks directly to them.  Roger Ebert called it a “soppy love story”. It bombed at the box office and a nomination for a Razzie Award for his portrayal of the ageing pitcher who spends what will probably be the last game of his career reflecting on his lost love while unknowingly pitching a perfect game.  For baseball fans the love story is completely secondary to the perfect game because director Sam Raimi, Kevin Costner and John C. Reilly as Costner’s catcher, make you get why the perfect game is important.  Throughout the film we see his relationship with Kelly Preston and realize that as much as he loves her, baseball is the most important relationship he has.   Poor Kelly Preston can’t even get more love than a game.  The sentimental might cry over the failed and then renewed relationship between Costner and Preston but the baseball fans will sob when Costner’s pitcher fights through pain and heartache and pitches his perfect game. (It doesn't hurt that he does this to the dulcit tones of legendary baseball announcer Vin Scully.)

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