Critic Reviews



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It's a mostly winning combination of sassy humour and sentiment, enlivened by some fun "newsreel" recreations that catch the period flavour of a sport adopting showbiz tactics - flirty-skirted uniforms, cheesecake stunts and skin-scraping do-or-die game plays - to attract the crowds.
Though big of budget, A League of Their Own is one of the year's most cheerful, most relaxed, most easily enjoyable comedies. It's a serious film that's lighter than air, a very funny movie that manages to score a few points for feminism in passing.
The story of the short-lived women's baseball league gives Marshall the opportunity to examine the roots of modern feminism and have a darn fine time doing it.
The movie has a real bittersweet charm. The baseball sequences, we've seen before. What's fresh are the personalities of the players, the gradual unfolding of their coach and the way this early chapter of women's liberation fit into the hidebound traditions of professional baseball.
It's not a deep-thinking film, and I wish it probed more thoroughly into the feminist issues it raises, instead of finessing them in a goopy finale. But much of it is first-class summertime fare, generating plenty of humor while examining a slice of Americ ana that's as revealing as it is entertaining.
If the people responsible for A League of Their Own had tried just a little harder to avoid easy laughs and easy sentiment, they might have made something like a great movie. As it is, they have made a good movie, amiable and ingratiating.
Though amusing enough to avoid absolutely drowning in schmaltz, it's sad to see a film with potential lose its way in the late innings.
This superficially engaging movie leads you to expect something more - something that would suggest how the experience of playing professional ball changed the lives of the women in the league, and how the league itself may have helped to alter the general public's notions of women and sports.
From its jokey, one-note characters to its endless baseball montages, A League of Their Own is all flash, all surface.
Penny Marshall’s gangly fourth film benefits from a fresh, unusual subject, the joy of baseball being played by women having the time of their lives and a wonderful central performance by Geena Davis. Downside includes contrived plotting, obvious comedy and heart-tugging, some hammy thesping and a general hokiness.

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