For Love of the Game (1999) Review

An aging pitcher Billy Chapel who is on his way out of baseball when his team has been sold and he will be the first player to be traded. But before that happens he goes in search of the perfect game, against none other than the Yankees.

As he is standing on the mount or sat in the dugout we are shown his life in flashback form and how he met the woman in his life. The fights, the love and most of all how baseball is everything to him. I thought it was such a brilliant way to show his story. The film shows us a man’s love for the game he has always played and the struggles he must face when he is not going to get to play it anymore.

So what way for a baseball pitcher to go out? The perfect game of course. It keeps us on the edge of our seat when his arm begins to hurt and we are not sure if he is going to manage to complete the game himself. But the willpower and adrenaline manages to see him through until the very end.

He was never the best at relationships and keeping people happy, I guess with his life being consumed by baseball it takes over him and he pushes people away. Jane tries to help him in different ways but they often clash and find it difficult to still be together. Whilst the game is going on we see Jane in the airport and in the end she just couldn’t get on the plane for watching Billy play the game.

I love films about sport and even though I am not American and have only watched a few baseball games for some reason I really do love baseball films. I just think they work really well in showing passion for a sport, especially in this one from the player’s point of view and how a nearly 20 year career can be shown in a couple of hours.

I thought this turbulent story was a ride from start to finish. We grow to really care about Billy and want to see him getting the perfect game as well. I have always had a soft spot for Kevin Costner so it didn’t take much for me to decide to want to watch this film. He really does brilliantly in the role, manages to show such passion.

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