The old Couch Potato and French Fry Number One got to spend this past weekend together, and while we certainly got out of the house a bit (Olive Garden, the mall and ice cream among other things), we also hunkered down for some good ol' movie magic.
We had decided that we would try to watch some movies that might bridge the gap between are disparate ages, she being 9 and me being 35, so we went on a search of something that might appeal to us both.
After what seemed like forever, we finally came across the 1992 classic, “A League of Their Own,” starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell.
I had seen this movie in theaters way back when I was 10 years old, as my neighbors and I had run a lemonade stand to raise funds for such an event. We somehow had managed to earn $30 from our venture, but looking back, probably $25 of that came from our parents.
Nevertheless, my mom dropped us off and I remember being quite enchanted with what we saw.
I was hoping that the movie would inspire the same emotions in my daughter, and for the most part, I think it did. We cuddled up on the recliner, and for the first time in I think forever, she didn’t even ruin the movie by asking seven million questions about things that the characters were explaining.
We both particularly liked Jon Lovitz as the fast-talking baseball talent scout, as well as the endless laughs provided by underrated comedic actor, Tom Hanks, as manager Jimmy Dugan.
As an aside, Tom Hanks is a pretty unique actor when you think about it. He’s probably most remembered for his dramatic roles in movies such as “Forrest Gump,” “The Green Mile” or “Cast Away,” but it can’t be forgotten how funny he can be. “The ‘Burbs” and “Big” most notably come to mind, but there’s not many actors today who can so flawlessly do either kind of movie, or would even be allowed to do either kind of movie. Tom Hanks is the man is my point.
Of course. the best line comes from Hanks, who famously screams, “There’s no crying in baseball,” but for our next movie, I tried to prove to the French Fry that that wasn’t true.
Our next foray was into one of my personal favorites, the 1989 classic, “Field of Dreams,” starring Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Ray Liota and James Earl Jones.
I’ve seen it so many times, but there are very few movies that can get to me like that one does. There are so many classic scenes that give me chills every time I watch them.
Shoeless Joe appearing for the first time in right field. Terrance Mann standing in the headlights of Ray’s van as tries to leave Boston. Doc “Moonlight” Graham stepping off the field as a young man turned old. And of course Ray playing catch with his father as the headlights pour in from the road.
Especially during that final scene is when the old Couch Potato did his best to prove Tom Hanks wrong about crying and baseball. My French Fry incredulously asked me if I was crying when she looked at me, to which I responded, “No!” But the truth is, I was, and when I asked her why she wasn’t crying, she said, “Well it’s sad, dad, but I’m not going to cry about it!”
Both flicks deserve their own place in the Sports’ Movie Hall of Fame, but one overlooked aspect of each is the music.
“A League of Their Own” was scored by the legendary Hans Zimmer, who has more credits that I can even begin to name. His best work came during the climactic championship game scene, as his frenetic score perfectly captured the back and forth battle between not only the teams, but the two sisters as well.
“Field of Dreams’” score was done by James Horner, who might be best remembered for “My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic,” but who was also nominated for an Oscar for his work on “Field of Dreams.” While Kevin Costner and director Phil Alden Robinson provided the moments, Horner is the one who provided the aura.
Whether it was the writing, directing, acting or composing, both of these movies will forever live on as the classics that they are.
And they’ll always be remembered by me, as the cornerstone of one of the best weekends the French Fry and I ever had.
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