June 04, 2014
Family Film Blogging: Million Dollar Arm
Posted by Christine Hurt

One movie that our whole family wanted to see was Million Dollar Arm.  One of those rare non-animated movies that is rated PG, this movie seemed like a great way to celebrate the last day of school.  Though fairly appropriate for all ages, note that there is a lot of reading.  A nontrivial percentage of the dialogue is in subtitles, which our six year-old was not prepared to read in real time.  There was some loss of interest as some jokes were not understandable to him.

The movie begins with a sports agent, J.B. Bernstein, who is in danger of business failure having gone out on his own two years prior.  The opening scene shows him losing the NFL superstar client that was the new agency's last hope for solvency.  In the middle of the night, Bernstein gets the crazy idea to find the next new MLB pitcher from the cricket fields of India.  He convinces a deep pocket to fund a one year experiment.  Bernstein then travels to India, launches an American Idol-type contest, nabs two young Indian boys, brings them back to L.A. to train, and sets up a major league tryout for the two would-be pitchers.

The important thing to remember is this is a Disney movie.  There will be a miracle.  There will be success when it seems completely impossible.  And, there will be a character transformation from self-centered and insensitive to loving hero.  And there will be a girl, and the guy will get the girl.  And, it pretty much works.  Jon Hamm is really good at playing the selfish business guy, and Lake Bell is convincing as his bungalow tenant who teaches him how to be a family man to his adopted pitchers.  It's like Miracle and The Game Plan in one movie!

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