Novelist John Grisham's family-oriented soap opera offers an engrossing, if biased, view of Little League mania.
Having lost his wife to cancer, Glen (Harry Connick Jr.) is now staggering under the weight of crushing medical debts; worse still, he's been playing fast and loose with the IRS to the tune of $80,000. But he keeps the news of his dire financial straits from his son, Mickey (Shawn Salinas); their shared love of America’s favorite past-time is a powerful bond even though 12-year old Mickey can no longer play in the kiddie leagues. When the IRS comes looking for him, Glen contacts a shady lawyer who equips him and Mickey with new identities, then relocates to Nevada. Because the dead by whose identity Mickey has assumed was a year younger then he is, which makes Mickey eligible to play Little League as a born-again 11-year-old. Mickey’s batting prowess impresses Tony Bracey (Mike Starr), the coach of the Moose Team, and though Glen knows they should both be lying low, he can’t resist the temptation to live vicariously through Mickey. Naturally, Mickey galvanizes his teammates, who triumph in All-Star and State championships. Next up is the Regional meet, where media attention shoves Mickey into the spotlight. Meanwhile, IRS agents are closing in on the fugitives, except that when they locate them they back off. It seems that the Cuban team Mickey and his new friends are up against is notorious for including over-age ringers on its roster, so the US government cynically decides to let Mickey win one for Uncle Sam. The question is what happens after -- will the IRS let Glen off the hook in a quid pro quid?
Connick and newcomer Salinas are so believably in sync that it's hard not to root for them to succeed in their deception, even though Glen is a profoundly morally compromised character: On reflection, do you really want to buy into the convenient morality of a bleacher dad who knowingly jeopardizes his own child's good name?
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: PG
- Review: Novelist John Grisham's family-oriented soap opera offers an engrossing, if biased, view of Little League mania. Having lost his wife to cancer, Glen (Harry Connick Jr.) is now staggering under the weight of crushing medical debts; worse still, he's bee… (more)