For Love of the Game
Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
2 hr. 18 min.
Starring: Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, Jena Malone, Richard T. Jones | Directed by Sam Raimi | Produced by Armyan Bernstein, Amy Robinson | Written by Dana Stevens, Michael Shaara | Distributed by Universal Pictures.
I love movies about baseball. It was not too difficult for me to get excited this Fall about “For Love of the Game.” It could be the perfect date movie—baseball and a love story.
Kevin Costner portrays a star pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. His character, Billy Chapel, has a twenty-year major league career. He is successful as a strike-out pitcher, but finds himself always “striking out” in the romance department.
There are some positive qualities like a strong sense of teamwork and determination. And on baseball realism, this movie is one of the best. As an avid viewer of live baseball, I can say “For Love of the Game” really takes you there. You can almost smell the hot dogs. Truly America’s favorite pastime.
This is a fable for Baby Boomers. Billy does profess to believe in God and even prays during the game. It is a “feel good” cinematic touch. But Christians should seek to pray and then resist temptation. God’s name is used in vain and there are 18 obscenities and other crude references. There is no nudity, but some adults are shown in their underwear. Condoned premarital sex and language makes this film less than a perfect game. It is not a total shut out, though.
Not recommended for younger viewers due to too many mixed messages to sort out later. As an actor, Costner still shows that he has “good stuff.” But like a pitcher shaking off signs from a catcher, you will find some objections in this film.
Year of Release—1999