Entertainment Movies
Entertainment Entertainment Movies

The quintessential American movie?

When trying to identify the quintessential American movie, you could look at a timeless classic—and a celebration of all-American love, cinema, song and dance—like "Singin' in the Rain."Or you could go to something grittier like "12 Angry Men,"which encapsulates the American judicial system and its vulnerability to group-think as well as the importance of standing up for your beliefs against a vocal, close-minded majority.

Sorry, "Independence Day." Despite your title, alien invasion doesn't really fit here.

Maybe it's worth thinking about something less obvious. Like "Rookie of the Year." Go with me on this:

>> The story, about 12-year-old Henry Rowengartner (Thomas Ian Nicholas) who slips on a ball and breaks his arm in a way that gives him a 100-mph fastball, revolves around an accident. Is there a more legendary accident than the discovery of America?

>> A pre-teen kid becoming a professional baseball player screams of improbability. About as improbable as an Austrian bodybuilder and big-screen terminator becoming the governor of California. Who would believe that?

>> For the entire movie, Rowengartner laments having his name mispronounced by his manager (Albert Hall), who eventually comes around and gets it right after Henry's demonstrated his value to the organization. The kid's a native Chicagoan, but surely plenty of folks new to America have similarly had to struggle with mispronounced names and a difficult path to acceptance.

>> Self-explanatory patriotism: Cubs colors are red, white and blue. The team also simultaneously exists as the perennial lovable underdog and the mainstream social opportunity that lingers toward the top of most frequently sold-out games. That's America for you: Always at the top of the food chain yet, in several areas, working to climb to meet the achievements of its competitors with less cache.

Whatever your July 4 movie pick—anyone who dares leave the house may melt the second their feet hit the ground—hope it's a good one, and a great Independence Day. In the words of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, "America—[Bleep] Yeah." And in the words of another legend of a much different sort who also rooted for victory by the home team: Let's get some runs.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 7 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com. @mattpais

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Will 'Magic Mike' suffer from false advertising?

    Will 'Magic Mike' suffer from false advertising?

    After countless ads featuring stripping, stripping and more stripping, you probably drooled all over your seat/armrest/entire theater after seeing the two-hour naked-dude-extravaganza at last night’s midnight screening of “Magic Mike.”

  • Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Chicago sues red light camera firm for $300 million

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has sued Chicago's former red light camera operator, Redflex Traffic Systems, for more than $300 million on grounds the entire program was built on a $2 million bribery scheme at City Hall that has already led to federal corruption convictions.

  • Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    The four musicians in Marrow know quite a bit about bringing diverse influences to the table. After all, three of them, singer-guitarist Liam Kazar, singer-keyboardist Macie Stewart and bassist Lane Beckstrom were in Kids These Days, a now-defunct septet that combined jazz, funk, rap and rock in...

  • The Kids These Days family tree

    The Kids These Days family tree

    From its 2009 beginnings to its 2013 demise, Chicago's Kids These Days seemed like one of the most promising acts the city had seen in years. While the band split up at the height of its hype, its members have since gone on to do bigger and better things—seriously impressive considering the hip-hop/rock/jazz...

  • Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    After the dissolution of Kids These Days, the much-buzzed about Chicago fusion-jazz-rock-rap septet that split in spring 2013 just a few months after releasing its only album, “Traphouse Rock,” some of its members spent what seems like all of 20 minutes bandless. "We were driving back from the...

  • Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

Comments
Loading
79°