Ok, I’m going to start this thing off right. And by right, I mean by reviewing/commenting on one of my all time favorite films Rookie of the Year. I’m sure most of you are familiar with this childhood gem and if you’re not then you can jump out of an airplane and forget your parachute (oh and land on a pitchfork or something). Anyways, ROTY is about a kid named Henry Roengartner played by Thomas Ian Nicholas (who you might recognize as Kevin from American Pie). Henry is a normal kid who loves baseball but can’t play for shit, until one day a tragic accident leads to a godly riffle of a throwing arm. Soon he is discovered by the Chicago Cubs and goes on to change the face of baseball forever, also leading him to have sex with so many women that even Wilt the Stilt was impressed (Ok I made up that last part but it probably happened).
The movie starts off at Wrigley field where the Cubs are taking on the Giants of San Francisco in the opening game of the season. In the background is the music that inspires hope to the viewer. A score that even John Williams couldn’t imagine composing. Unfortunately for the cubs, they are the shit hole of the league. John Candy, who plays the ever so funny and entertaining announcer informs the listeners that the Cubs haven’t won a pennant since 1908 (uh oh foreshadowing?) The first pitch, ironically, is a home run. As the ball is about to go over the fence the scene cuts to our hero-to-be Henry, catching a ball pretending to rob a home run. It is there that we are introduced to his 2 best friends Clark and George (who is too fat for his own good.) The boys are on their way to Henry’s little league game. Henry gets put in right field and makes the worst throw in the history of baseball.
On top of all this humiliation and bullshit, his mother makes him do the fucking laundry when he gets home (what a bitch) while she goes on a date with Jack Bradfield (Henry’s moms douchebag boyfriend). The next day in school Henry drools over his grade school crush and yada yada Henry wants to tap that and so on.
Anyways, after lunch Henry tragically trips over a baseball while valiantly pursuing a fly ball in an effort to make up for his abysmal performance yesterday on the baseball field. Henry breaks his arm and spends the next 6 or so months recovering.
Henry first finds out about his miracle of an arm when he almost rips the face off of his doctor after his cast is removed. Probably the greatest line ever produced in American filmography ensues.
Afterwards the boys are gifted Cubs tickets by Henry’s mom. They go and cheer on their favorite baseball player, Gary Buse…err I mean Chet Steadman. The rocket gives up a home run which ends up in Henry’s hands. Henry is encouraged to throw the ball back in typical fashion, but amazes every one when he throws a fucking bullet back to the catcher nearly killing the man.
Panic ensues and Henry is heckled out of the ball park by 3 yinzer wannabees. Henry is eventually contacted by the cubs and is asked to join their team. And why the hell not? They can’t get any shittier anyways so who cares lets give it a shot. Of course no one on the team believes in Henry (and why should they? They don’t have a clue as to why some dumb fucking kid is in their locker room) and everyone gives the poor kid a hard time. Then enters one of the greatest movie characters ever; Brickma. Director/Actor Daniel Stern delivers an oscar worthy performance as the loveable goofball pitching coach who acts as Henry’s teacher/motivator.
It takes all the effort in the world from Henry to refrain from calling Brickma his father. Without even practicing once, Henry suites up and takes the field as a relief pitcher. After Chet Steadman throw some granny balls that end up 500 feet into the stands the crowd calls for Henry to be put in. Henry comes into the game and despite playing terribly and giving up a home run against the ultimate antagonist in the making, Heddo, to go on and win the game.
Meanwhile Jack Bradfield assumes his role as Henry’s manager. We see his inner dark side begin to reveal when he and Mr. Fischer (son of the owner of the team) begin an alliance that can only be exceeded by the likes of Hitler and Stalin.
Henry goes on to make more starts and still finds himself struggling. Chet Steadman finally realizes that he has been a huge dick to Henry and gives him some pointers and treats him like a fellow teammate. Also, he’s close to banging Henry’s mom.
More awesome shit happens for the next 20 minutes or so. Henry gets his first chance to bat and scores his first run as a major. Chet gets even closer to Henry’s mom and a (rightfully so) pissed off Jack Bradfield watches on. After a conversation with Mr. Fischer he decides “Fuck it, I’m trading Henry to the Yankees”. This all goes on of course without Henry or his mom’s consent.
Henry, now a superstar, has to ditch his friends because he is in a rediculous diet pepsi commercial. Fatty mcfat fat and creepy clark get in a brawl with Henry, which is fucking stupid. Did they not see what he did to that doctor?
The next scene is a rained out cubs stadium and Henry is seen playing tetris on his gameboy all pissed off and shit. Probably because he got sat on by George. Chet gets news that Mr. Fischer is going to sit him for the rest of the season and then ultimately releasing him. Henry’s mom punches the shit out of Bradfield because he was yelling at Henry and shit. Henry’s darkest days are now behind him as he reunites his friendship with George and Clark. The 3 take their boat out on the water where they pick up each of their respectable hoes.
Henry, probably still super elated about getting his first HJ tells the franchise that he won’t be back for the next season. This all comes after a very successful season where the Cubs have made it to the pennant. Mr. Fischer deserving gets sent to sell hot dogs in the nosebleeds by his father, the owner of the team after he finds out that he tried to trade Henry to the fucking Yankees. Chet Steadman gets the call to start against their arch-rivals, the New York Mets. Chet puts in a solid 8 innings and Henry is left to finish the game. But wait! Henry trips on another fucking baseball which reverts his arm back to his regular self.
Henry appears to be ok when he gets up, but he lost his fastball. Oh no! What to do? Replace Henry with a capable relief pitcher? Nah, fuck it. He’ll figure something out. The first batter Henry walks. Boasting an IQ of 160, Henry tricks the runner by fooling him with the hidden ball trick.
The next batter is walked as well. This time, unable to use the hidden ball trick again Henry takes the matters into his own hands. He somehow manages to get the runner to race him to second base by calling him a chicken. He does this by pretending to throw the ball up into the air.
So 2 batters down. 1 to go. Who’s up next you ask? You guessed correctly, its Heddo.
Henry totally mindfucks Hedo by throwing a change up to make the count 0-1. Feeling like hes the fucking man, Henry tosses another 30 mph pitch down the plate where Hedo almost launches it into orbit. Lucky for Henry it was foul.
Only 1 pitch away from the world series! But how am I going to strike out this fucking giant? Cue the slow sad music where Henry finds out that his mom played baseball before. Somehow shes easily able to communicate to Henry telling him to throw a floater pitch. Henry does so and Hedo strikes out and presumably goes to the locker room and kills himself.
The final scene of the movie shows Henry playing little league again, and instead of fucking up again robs a home run to win the game. Chet (Henry’s new coach) is there and helps hoist Henry up along with the rest of the team to celebrate the catch and the win. Henry, then shows off his World Series ring to the crowd as the movie ends.
So there you have it folks. If you haven’t seen this movie yet go do so immediately. It is a really fucking funny and good film. Perfect to make a drinking game to as well. Not much more to say really. I will hopefully have another review up sometime this week as well. Not sure which film yet so stay tuned.
Rookie of the Year – 10/10