Million Dollar Arm–I’m sure someone has already said it, but this movie was Disney does Jerry Maguire. It was predictable, montage heavy, and had nothing very original in it. But hey it’s Disney. More importantly than any of that it was well paced, enjoyable and sweet.
Million Dollar Arm follows the desperate actions of sports agent J.B. Bernstein to save his struggling (near dead) firm he comes up with a brilliant but risky idea. As he has not been able to compete with the much larger sports agency firms he has slowly lost to retirement all the clients he took with when he left to go out on his own, and not able to compete with signing up new talent in America (or China, or Japan, or a dozen other places) he decides to find a baseball pitcher in India. The problem being they don’t play baseball in India, they play cricket (not that cricket is really a sport). But with the money from investors he sets up a nationwide contest in India to find talent in a pool that has never been tapped. There he finds Dinesh Patel and Rinku Sighn, two young men who can throw a ball really fast but have never even played cricket (or baseball). And after he finds them he has to have them trained for a major league tryout in 6 months or lose his investors forever. What follows is your typical Disney fare of JB learning to support his ballplayers, growing as a person, finding a happy romantic relationship.
No one going to this film should expect anything outside from the typical happy Disney story…and since it’s based on a true story it’s not exactly a spoiler to say that Dinesh and Rinku were signed by the Pirates.
Besides the film showing some of the more unusual facets of the Indian economy, and the wonderful overtones of the American Dream, I have nothing deeper to say on this film (yeah the film critic in me could whine about dozens of small pieces). The film is what it promises to be, a heartwarming story. The jokes, the story of Dinesh and Rinku learning baseball and growing up, JB becoming a human being, and the romantic subplot are all perfectly paced. The tale never gets dull and it leaves you with a smile on your face throughout much of the film.