Film Micrœview #359: A League of Their Own (1992)

05.17.2017 § Leave a comment

Rating: Good.

I’ve seen this movie a million times. Just needed to expose my girlfriend to it so she could pick up on my family’s constant referencing of it.

I never realized before that Hans Zimmer did the score, though now I can totally hear it.

This movie is so damn fun, one can almost forgive the weird amount of slut-shaming of Mae, body-shaming of Marla Hooch, and the unpunished sexual harassment of Jimmy Duggan. And I don’t know quite what to think of the moment where a black woman impresses Dottie with a powerful lob; she is literally the only person of color in the entire picture. I guess the film is being honest about the state of gender and race relations at the time. But there’s something concerning about how some of the moments, like this one with the black woman, or another where a woman receives a serious injury while performing a standard baseball activity (sliding) because of the sexually exploitative and impractical costumes they are required to wear, are relegated to bits in montage sequences.

Something has always bothered me, in a good way, about the frame story centering the story on Dottie. I appreciate the historical contexualization of the women’s league, and don’t mind a little sappy excess in a feel-good dramedy like this, but it plays into the balance between Dottie and her sister Kit in a way I can’t fully get my head around. The conflict between the overshadowed and the overshadower is a fascinating one to explore, especially with so many other characters caught in the mix, and especially with their true sisterly love for each other shining strongly even through the darkest, most competitive moments. These are just two strong, flawed, proud, sensitive, unforgettable characters. They don’t write ’em like this anymore.

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