The Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame: A League Of Their Own
THERE'S NO CRYING ON THE POPPY-FIELDS MOVIE COUCH OF FAME!!
As the World Baseball Classic gears up, it seems like a great time to consider a baseball flick that transcends the sport (by which I mean "creates a transcendent hatred in me directed at bratty Kit and her stupid wig"). A League Of Their Own has THREE nominations on file from Megan, Trip, and Ron, so let's hear what they have to say.
- lengthy? "Not terribly: just over 2 hours, and running about 2.5 hours on TV with commercials (and with some edits)." – Megan.
- familiar/frequent? "Is it ever not on cable somewhere?" – Trip.
- classic/award-winner? "A couple of Golden Globe nominations, including Geena Davis for Best Actress, and several nominations for Madonna's 'This Used To Be My Playground.'" – Megan.
- "Greetings, Professor Falken" (big payoff/long-shot victory a la WarGames)? "Yes, though not for the person you were expecting." – Trip.
- "Wanna have a catch?" (Pavlovian tear-jerk; anything with dads opens the ducts for this guy)? "I usually tear up at the reunion at the Baseball Hall of Fame, even though I really, really don't want to. Hearing the actresses' voices coming out of the older actresses tries its best to take me out of the story, and the entire conceit that Dottie was the greatest who ever lived but played only one season bugs me…and yet, they get me at the end every time. How do they do that?" – Megan. Your editor would also add the "the hard is what makes it great" exchange between Jimmy and Dottie.
- quote-fest? "How about 'There's no crying in baseball'?" – Ron. Probably one of the most over-quoted lines in film history, but Hanks's outraged delivery really sells it IMO. Trip and Megan also cited "Avoid the clap — Jimmy Dugan" (that IS good advice!); "Evelyn, after Stillwell has caused the bus driver to quit: 'He'ss really a sweetheart, Dottie.' 'Yeah, I hope I have ten just like him'"; and "Who ain't seen your bosoms?"
- caper-ish or -adjacent camaraderie? Respondents kind of split on this, with Trip asserting that the only "intrigue" is whether Dottie may have dropped the ball on purpose, but Ron and Megan pointing to sports-movie team bonding against a war backdrop.
- "forget you, melon farmer" (you own it, but will still watch bowdlerized TV verzh) "I just get sucked in every single time, dammit." – Trip. Megan agreed while noting that cable airings often cut the dance-hall scene with Madonna's "fun dancing," probably for time.
I usually bail out of this one before the climactic game, because I just really can't with the ending, although there's an argument to be made that the fact that it still annoys the crap out of me all these years later means it's art, or something. I just think it's horseshit, and Lori Petty's customary resting-bratface performance serves the material, but that's not reeeeeally a compliment. That said, it's a lot of fun, and despite being 1) forever associated with That Line and 2) the de facto Mayor Of Hollywood, I don't think Hanks gets nearly enough credit for his performance here, both as a resentful wastrel in the beginning and, later, a game-recognizing-game manager of talented players.
And I don't hate Strathairn in period garb, either. Readers?
The Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame is here. To nominate your own PFM, email bunting at tomatonation dot com with a rundown of the criteria and your argument for why it deserves a cushion. If I use your entry, free loot shall be thine.
Tags: A League Of Their Own Bitty Schram David Strathairn Geena Davis Lori Petty Madonna movies poppy-fields movies Rosie O'Donnell Tom Hanks