Rookie of the Year
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is entirely wholesome save three mild exceptions: There's a punch to the face (no blood); "f--k" is implied in one scene; and a young girl is referred to as being "stacked."
What's the story?
In ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, the Chicago Cubs are facing another dismal season. Meanwhile, 11-year-old Henry is a terrible little league player whose mother is dating a really sleazy guy named Jack. Trying to show off, Henry breaks his arm and the tendons heal a little tight. The result is a 100+ mph fastball. After the Cubs' general manager sees him throw, Henry is recruited to pitch in the big leagues. Grumpy old pitcher Chet Stetman has to teach Henry to pitch. Henry's Mom falls for Chet and sleazy Jack is not happy. Jack has also arranged to sell Henry to the Yankees so he can collect a huge fee. Henry spills all to the kindly old Cubs owner, though, and everything works out. In the final game of the season, Henry relieves Chet after six great innings, but Henry's arm gives out in the ninth. Henry has to resort to trickery to win the division title.
Is it any good?
Silliness fills to the brim, and occasionally slops over the sides of this good-natured sports fantasy. Rookie of the Year sticks close to the established kids' sports movie formula. Single parent mom works out dating issues; other kids are initially hurt by their friend's success, but end up supporting him; and, of course, everything builds to the big game. But this movie has such a good time playing out the inevitable that you can't help but enjoy yourself.
Much of the fun comes from a strong supporting cast. Gary Busey plays Chet with just the right mix of grumpiness and warmth. John Candy portrays the lovable blowhard baseball announcer with gusto. And first-time director Daniel Stern injects his movie with over-the-top comic relief both from in front of and behind the camera. And kids will like Henry, the dork in way over his head. Kids who've stood, scared to death, in front of their class will understand the intense pressure Henry feels when he first steps on the mound.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about formula. Does this movie seem like other wacky sports movies you've seen before? Why do you think some types of movies seem to stick to the same themes, characters, and devices? Can movies that are formulaic still be entertaining? Why or why not?