|This week Jinny’s article will be written by her daughter, Adele Anderson
My mother and my daughter are movie fanatics. They just plain love motion pictures. They love to watch movies, they love to read about plans for upcoming movies, and they love to talk about movies. When either of them see a movie that they really like, they somehow feel compelled to tell me all about it in painfully lurid detail. My daughter will actually say something to the effect that she won’t tell me everything about it so I can watch it myself and not have it spoiled for me, and then proceed to spoil it for me. I don’t think she can actually help herself. Needless to say, by the time they have finished singing the praises of a movie to me, I have no desire whatsoever to see it. There is irony there somewhere.
I confess that I am not a rabid movie lover. I have truly liked only a handful, and the rest I either could take or leave or outright dislike. I find a lot of movies to be a combination of boring, irritating, nauseating, or just plain stupid. Other than a select few, even if I enjoy a movie or find it to be a pleasant diversion, I would never watch it more than once. I tend to prefer movies that don’t require me to suffer a lot of angst or do any actual deep thinking. I prefer books for my deep thinking and I’m not comfortable with paying money to experience angst or depression. Not when I can experience it everyday for free if I feel like it. I also won’t watch movies that have 42 people shot to death in the first 5 minutes or are designed to terrify me, gross me out, or join in the drama or shenanigans of teenagers. I have been a teenager, raised teenagers, and work with them every day. That is more than enough of the teen experience for me.
I confess that I am a sucker for big historical productions with which I have a love/hate relationship. I love the costumes and the sets, but nine times out of ten the historical inaccuracy makes me crazy. It’s a double-edged sword, no doubt about it, but the historical movies that I like tend to be my favorites. I will confess to a weakness for James Bond movies. Maybe because they have been around almost as long as I have. Oddly, I have a special place in my heart for one kind of movie that always surprises people who know me. I love baseball movies. Especially movies about old-time baseball. I own most of the baseball movies that I have loved and have watched them numerous times.
This past weekend, I was all alone. My daughter was drowning in homework up in her dorm in Orono, and Chuck was off with a friend. I don’t usually watch TV, but I was working on some knitting and decided that it was far too quiet in the house, so I turned on the tube. Low and behold, they were showing one of my favorite baseball movies, The Natural. The Natural is an incredibly corny movie about overcoming impossible odds, miraculous homeruns, a losing team winning a championship, etc., etc. The whole nine yards of baseball movie clichés.
It was the end of the movie, when the hero has the big hit that saves the day. Now, I’m not a sentimental person by nature. I don’t get choked up by gooey scenarios or overdone pathos. But I’m here to tell you, despite the fact that I have seen the movie numerous times, when the count was 3 and 2, and the hero hit the ball, sending it crashing into the stadium lights in slow motion, tingles ran straight up my spine. The lights exploded and sparks rained down upon the field as the hero ran the bases in slow motion and the music swelled. I tingled; I gripped my knitting needles so hard I almost snapped them. I may have even sniffled. I was pathetic.
I have this same shameful reaction to Field of Dreams, which always makes me blubber. I absolutely adore that movie. No matter how many times I watch it, I always wait breathlessly for Shoeless Joe Jackson to walk out of the cornfield and onto the baseball field. When I watch that movie I want to be a baseball player.
I feel a certain sense of relief, having finally confessed my weakness for corny, sentimental baseball movies. I like to think that I grew up in some of the last great days of the game, before it became more business than baseball. Back in the days of the all around baseball player, when Willy Mays could do it all and do it better than anyone else.
Sadly, I don’t feel the same way about baseball that I used to, but I still love a good baseball movie. Even if it does make me forget what row I’m knitting. I had to start all over, but it was worth it.