When Girls Play Hardball in "A League of Their Own"
Now and then, I like watching a movie about women’s issues. Other times, I just watch if there's a good female cast like in Steel Magnolias, 9 to 5, The First Wives Club, The Women, Charlie’s Angels, and Mona Lisa Smile.
When I first heard that A League of Their Own was about baseball, I did not care to see it, since I have no interest in sports. But when I learned that Madonna was in the cast, I immediately bought the DVD, curious to see her acting. And she was not bad at all!
The story of A League of Their Own revolves around two sisters, Dottie Hinson (played by Geena Davis) and Kit Keller (played by Lori Petty), who, after being discovered, make their way to Chicago to try out for the women’s league. They pass, and later form part of a team called the Rockford Peaches that includes “All the Way” Mae Mordabito (played by Madonna) and Doris Murphy (played by Rosie O'Donnell).
Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz) invites Dottie (Geena Davis) to try out for the women’s league. Also in the scene is Kit (Lori Petty).
Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) pees in front of the ladies.
I saw much of feminine angst in this film, and I could relate to that. Having four sisters with different temperaments, I have been in a situation similar to the scene where Dottie and Kit break into a heated argument. Yet, mixed emotions and varied opinions are typical of women, causing much conflict among them.
And like the players, I have felt feminine disgust, as in the scene where the ladies watch the drunken team manager Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks) pee in front of them. (However, I was at once amused by Mae who was timing the duration of Jimmy’s peeing!)
I have also had my share of humiliations reminiscent of that scene where Jimmy berates Evelyn Gardner (played by Bitty Schram) who then breaks down. When he sees this, he yells “there’s no crying in baseball!”
"There’s no crying in baseball!"
One of the scenes that moved me to tears was where Jimmy hands to pitcher Betty “Spaghetti” Horn (played by Tracy Reiner) a war telegram informing her of her husband’s death. This made me remember my own husband whom I lost to lung cancer in 2005. But the most touching scene for me was where Dottie and Kit, now in their old age, see each other at the Baseball Hall of Fame and end up in a warm – and forgiving – sisterly embrace.
Despite sympathizing with the characters, I also enjoyed some light moments in the film like the part where the sluggers sneak out one night to party, and Marla Hooch (played by Megan Cavanagh) gets drunk and sings with the band.
Girls’ night out!
But my favorite was the scene where the ladies undergo lessons at a charm and beauty school. (If I were the league organizer, I would definitely not require this!)
I also thought it inappropriate for the players to wear a dress for a jersey. It was just plain silly!
The ladies take lessons at a charm and beauty school.
But as always, I like films with a historical background (the setting was 1943), a flashback, and a great theme song. I was expecting to hear Madonna sing her usual pop tunes, but I was instead captivated to hear her sing This Used To Be My Playground. I also liked the idea of the Peaches writing their own team song with their battle cry, “Batter up, hear that call. The time has come for one and all...to play ball.” This just shows their oneness as a team.
Batter up, hear that call. The time has come for one and all... to play ball. We're the members of the All American League. We come from cities near and far. We've got Canadians, Irish ones, & Swedes. We're all for one, we're one for all, we're all American.— Rockford Peaches
A League of Their Own is truly a film for women. I personally like rewatching it. And the next time I do, I will gather my friends with me so we could sentimentally sing along with Madonna, “This used to be our playground...this used to be our childhood dream.”