A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although The Rookie is rated G, it will not be of much interest to younger kids, since it deals primarily with an adult's pursuit of his career goals. Some kids might be upset by the scenes of Morris with his father, who is cold and unsympathetic, or by the financial problems faced by the family. There are references to divorce and remarriage.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE ROOKIE centers around Morris (Dennis Quaid), who loves baseball and had his shot at the big leagues, but didn't make it. Morris is a high school baseball coach in a Texas town where everyone loves football. One day, Morris throws a few balls to the catcher and the team is impressed with the power of his arm. He promises that if they win the division title, he'll try out for the major leagues. The boys start winning games, so Morris ends up going to the try-outs. Despite his age, Morris is throwing up to 98 miles an hour. But the success of the team has brought a coaching offer from a bigger school. Morris can take it and give his family a more comfortable life. Or he can accept the offer to play on a minor league team, with the slim hope that he might get picked up by the major leagues. His dream asks a lot of him, but it asks a lot from his family, too, perhaps more than is fair to expect.
Is it any good?
This movie boasts dignified-but-heartwarming direction by John Lee Hancock, and a hit-it-out-of-the-ballpark performance by Dennis Quaid. If the story hadn't really happened, Disney would have had to make it up; but a high school science teacher did tell the baseball team he coached that if they won the division title he would try out for the major leagues. And they did and he did and Jim Morris did become the oldest rookie in 40 years. Sometimes, life just is a Disney movie. And this story turns out to make a very nice movie indeed, thanks to not one but two irresistible underdog-with-a-dream stories.
The Rookie is inevitably predictable and there are some dramatic embellishments, like the awkwardly inserted reconciliation with his father and the way the minor league coach tells Morris the big news. But the dream is so pure and Quaid is so good that most audiences will be happy to go along.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about our responsibility to help those we care about try to make their dreams come true and to share the dreams of those we love. What dreams does Morris have in The Rookie? What kinds of big dreams do you have? What about your family members?
Morris's father tells him that it is "okay to think about what you want to do until it is time to do what you were meant to do." How long and hard should you fight for a dream? How do you know when it is time to put a dream aside?
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