We follow Tim Robins over to my favorite baseball movie, Bull Durham. Bull Durham is officially labeled a romantic comedy because of the love triangle between the three main characters, but do not let that fool you. The real romance here is the love of baseball. If you have anything less than a religious devotion for the mystique of the game, most of Bull Durham’s appeal will be bewildering to you.
The story revolves around “Crash” Davis (Kevin Costner), an aging minor league catcher who has log sense missed his chance to make it to The Show. He is assigned to the Durham Bulls in order to prepare a young pitching phemon named Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laroosh make it to the majors. Nuke is chosen by baseball groupie Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) as her chosen affair for the season, but she finds herself increasingly attracted to Crash instead.
Crash teaches the wild, undisciplined Nuke al about the skills of baseball from pitchig technique to the pointless banter of sports interviews all while competing for Annie’s affection. None of them are quite ready for the next step lie is going to bring. Nuke is too immature to handle the big league. Crash is frustrated by jealousy over the opportunity he never got, but Nuke is not taking seriously. Annie does not want to grow up ad have a real, romantic relationship. Therein lies the tension.
But the true heart of the film is the love of baseball. The gam is practically a main character when you consider how much it permeates the lives of everyone. If you cannot comprehend paying homage to a makeshift shrine to Yankees catcher Thurmond Munson, a huge part of the film is going to be lost to you. More so than…say, Field of Dreams, another great baseball movie which nevertheless uses baseball as more of a ca than a main theme.
If I had the physical prowess to play a team sport, I would choose baseball so much of Bull Durham is wish fulfillment for me. Your mileage may vary, but it is still a classic sports film and one that I have seen numerous times without it getting old.
Rating: **** (out of 5)