2013, PG-13, 113 min. Directed by David Boyd. Starring Scott Elrod, Dorian Brown, Vivica A. Fox, Charles Henry Wyson, James Devoti.
REVIEWED By Louis Black, Fri., April 26, 2013
Well-known cinematographer David Boyd’s first feature directing effort (he’s helmed a number of TV shows) is easy on the eyes but predictable near-mush otherwise.
Pro baseball player Cory (Elrod) takes everything he has for granted, from his superb athletic skills to his privileged position in major league baseball. His substance abuse problems lead him to an incident where he is suspended from the majors for two months. He goes home to his small town in Oklahoma, where his brother’s family lives and where his agent (Fox) has arranged for him to coach Little League as a PR effort. However, the other coach is his ex-high school sweetheart, a single widowed parent. The situation is thus loaded and aimed at a clear narrative target.
This slightly better-than-average family film is all paint-by-numbers – well, except that it is an explicitly Christian work, specifically championing Celebrate Recovery, an umbrella addict recovery program that is organized very much around the tenets of Jesus Christ.
It would be nice to say that this film is full of surprises or offers far more than you might expect, but it isn’t and it doesn’t. It’s well-acted, but it’s way too long and too religious: afterschool-special narrative fare.