For Love of the Game
Starring Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston

For Love of the Game

2 1/2 Stars2 1/2 Stars

A coming of middle-age story set against the backdrop of a single baseball game, during which an aging pitcher reassesses a lifetime of personal and professional choices. Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) has spent his entire adult life playing for the Chicago Tigers. Probably bound for Cooperstown, but fast becoming a product of his fans' aging memories. Nearly 40, Billy's at a crossroads; he's got a bad shoulder, the beginning of a paunch and trouble with his pitching hand, the tragic result of a near career-ending accident. The Tigers are being sold and the deal may involve trading Billy. And to make matters worse, his on-again/off-again girlfriend Jane (Kelly Preston) is tired of waiting for Billy to commit to her as fully as he has to the game, so she's leaving on the next plane for a job in London. During the course of that night's game against the Yankees, Billy plays better than he has in years — each pitch, in fact, brings him closer to a perfect game — while turning over in his mind the events that brought him to this lonely juncture

If, in your life's interests, baseball ranks somewhere between a patriotic past-time and a holy ritual, then Billy's story will probably seem to you as American as Apple Pie. If not, its flaws will be all too apparent: Billy Chapel is a perpetual adolescent who's finally gotten the message that time waits for no man, and worthwhile women only wait so long for Mr. Right. In the end, greatness is measured by one's realization of the personal responsibilities in life to those dearest to you. - Memo to all of us . . . It's just a game.

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