10:45 AM CDT, July 22, 2013
"There's no crying in baseball."
Start there. Start with one of the most famous movie lines ever. Start with Tom Hanks’ character in "A League of Their Own" in that magnificent scene where he's screaming about the Cubs' lousy hitting with runners in scoring position.
No. Wait. That was Hanks' Jimmy Dugan admonishing Alex Rios for his pathetic response to getting benched for dogging it Friday night.
Or something like that. I bring up this oft-repeated line from one of my all-time favorite movies because baseball fans around here could use a few laughs.
I mean, watching the Cubs stumble around in trying to trade their most valuable pitcher for the second year in a row won’t amuse us for more than another week or so.
And sure, there’s the Sox’s baserunning, but I’m talking about intentional laughs.
So, Stevie Sunshine is here to help. I’m a pleaser, not a teaser. It’s just what I do. No thanks are necessary, just buy tickets and join us Wednesday night, Aug. 21, for a showing of the funny and adorable "A League of Their Own."
You know about Hanks’ legendary line in the movie, but did you know that hard-drinking, money-grubbing character was modeled after all-time Cubs great Hack Wilson and Hall-of-Famer Jimmie Foxx?
And did you know that Geena Davis was about the last choice to play Dottie Hinson, the star of the women’s league that formed 70 years ago while men went off to war? Demi Moore was near the top of the casting list early, but Bruce Willis got her pregnant. Debra Winger took the role, the story goes, but then quit when she found out Madonna was signed. As they went down the list of possibilities, time got short, and Davis ended up trying out for the part -- and winning it -- in director Penny Marshall’s backyard.
And you know who has one of the best parts? Jon Lovitz, that’s who. The former "Saturday Night Live" star plays the scout who signs Davis’ and Lori Petty’s characters. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
And it’s only $15 a ticket, plus a $1.82 service charge, which is cheap to see this classic movie back on the big screen at the Music Box. Here’s the link.
We’re working on special guests, starting with the director, whom I’ve loved since she was the secretary for my role model, Oscar Madison.
Against his better judgment, Tribune film critic Michael Phillips has agreed to join me as co-host. We’ve brought you these movie nights previously for the frat-boy nonsense of "Slap Shot" and "Caddyshack." But " League of Their Own," while producing some wonderful laughs, delivers its share of drama. In fact, it’s touching.
You might be surprised to find me involved with a movie so human. Me, too, frankly. But in my role as ambassador for the banana republic of Men Are Pigs, let me suggest that this movie night presents a chance to show your girlfriend/date/future ex that you can do more than belch.
Speaking of belching, the Music Box sells liquor, but like tickets for our Tribune movie nights, it can run out quicker than you think. I think they ran out of beer before Wayne Messmer sang the national anthem before "Slap Shot." Just letting you now.
But back to my point, and yes, I was trying to make one: "A League of Their Own" is a movie with a heart. That’s good for a relationship, and this is a great opportunity for you troglodytes to fake like you have one.
But don’t be surprised if you really do tear up. I do. I love the story and I love the way we meet up with the ladies at the end. Even though I know what’s coming, I tear up, same as at the end of "Field of Dreams." I don’t know why I’m admitting this here and now, but I am.
There is crying in baseball movies.
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