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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes solid communication between parents and kids. Focuses on the healing process after the loss of a parent, and how roles change and adjust over the years. Values expressed: unconditional love, responsible parenting, respecting individuality, and unselfishness. Cautions against parents having too many expectations of their children.
Positive Role Models
Dad is portrayed as working hard to be a good parent, taking his responsibility very seriously, and lovingly open. Still, he has much to learn about how kids grow up, change, and must establish their own identities. Seven-year-old daughter is seriously perfect, even when angry. Ethnic diversity. Some stereotyping (insensitive boss, cliquish baseball players).
Occasional swearing: "butt," "damn," "hell," one "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
Lots of clearly identifiable product brands: Kroger, Papa John's, Lakefront Bus Lines. Other incidental products: Coke, Pepsi, Union Oil, Eddie Bauer, Cap'n Crunch cereal, Budweiser.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink beer in a few scenes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Baseball and the Ballerina is a retitled movie released originally as A Little Inside in 2002. It stars the young Hallie Kate Eisenberg, an adorable actress who was best known as the Pepsi Girl in a series of commercials in the 1990s. Here she is irresistible in the challenging role of a 7-year-old raised by a struggling but well-meaning single dad. They lost their beloved mom/wife in a car accident years earlier. The film earned its PG rating because of occasional swearing ("hell," "damn," "butt," one "s--t"). Other than that and some illogical story elements, it's fine for kids who like a sweet tale without too much complexity. Perhaps it has been rereleased because of its subject matter, its warm tone, and Eisenberg's charm, or perhaps it's because it was the first feature film performance by Jared Padalecki, currently a popular movie and television star (Supernatural). Either way, it's a pleasantly predictable story and OK for older kids, tweens, and up. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Hallie Eisenberg is adorable; Benjamin King is sympathetic and likable; but because it's slow and predictable, this film is just OK. An effort has been made to supply some emotional depth to the characters, but writer-director Harshbarger misses when it comes to providing moments that would make the story resonate or inspire. Small inconsistencies and careless writing didn't seem to bother Harshbarger, either, but they could easily have been remedied. Why would a very involved next-door neighbor and part-time caretaker not know how Abby's mom died five years earlier? Why would Ed Mills be meeting Abby's best friend's mom for the first time? In what world would a minor league baseball player get reinstated by walking on the field and asking the manager for a spot on the team? Why wouldn't Ed know that he couldn't take his child along with him for his out-of-town baseball games and plan accordingly? Nevertheless, if your family enjoys a disarming, first-rate performance by a child actress and doesn't mind a slow pace and some story blemishes, Baseball and the Ballerina may be worth a try.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate