Friday Flicks: The Natural


The offseason can be tough on baseball fans. Why not get your baseball fix through the Silver Screen? All offseason long, check out “Friday Flicks” at lunchtime for a baseball movie review. Want to suggest a movie for review?  Comment below with the title.

Last week, I reviewed a not-just-for-kids tale of one of the greatest (fictional) baseball summers of all time.  This week’s movie is a story of persistence and the magic of the game.

The Natural (1984) stars Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, a country kid who was destined for baseball greatness.  On his way to begin what promises to be a brilliant career, a bizarre and unfortunate encounter threatens his life and takes his dream away.  For fifteen years, he mysteriously disappears from the baseball limelight and from the lives of those who had been most important to him.  Signed by the New York Knights as a surprisingly old rookie, Hobbs first has to prove himself to his team and then to fans, competitors, and the franchise owners.

Conspiracy, intrigue, and romance are woven into the movie, yet it falls flat.  Between bizarre incidents, such as the far-fetched and far too convenient death of Hobb’s biggest rival, and disappointing acting, like usually phenomenal Glenn Close who hardly does more in The Natural than smile and try to look pretty, the movie lacks believability and magic.  Either one of those could have made the flick a much more interesting watch.

Is it a hit?  I give it a single.  I found the movie lacking in commitment, seeming to want to be both an epic and a farce at the same time.  Personally, it won’t be on my list to watch again.  I imagine there are some of you who have seen and loved this movie.  It was highly recommended to me, and I was disappointed.  So, if you disagree, comment below and tell me why.

Come back at lunchtime next Friday for a review of a movie about baseball’s version of “Rosie the Riveter”.