Million Dollar Arm: A Parent’s Review

This week I had the opportunity to attend a screening of the new Walt Disney Pictures film Million Dollar Arm, a true story about a sports agent named JB Bernstein. JB is an L.A.-based bachelor who travels to India looking for cricket players to turn into baseball pitchers in a last ditch effort to save his career.

I didn’t expect what I saw.

Million Dollar Arm Parents Review

I knew it was going to be good. But I didn’t expect to stay in my seat throughout the credits, waiting to make sure the movie was really over before I left.

Have you seen the preview for this movie? Here’s a quick video:

JB heads to India searching for two finalists in a reality show competition called “Million Dollar Arm”–the winners, who know nothing about baseball but can throw a fast ball, come back to the U.S. with JB and train with the USC Baseball team and coach. The goal is to have these boys, Dinesh and Rinku, ready for major league tryouts ASAP. The boys, completely out of their element, struggle to find their way in the U.S. and JB struggles to be a good role model for them.

The movie was funny–really funny. Family-appropriate humor was sprinkled throughout, including contrasts between cultures, a baseball scout who works with his eyes closed (sleeping. or listening to the speed of baseballs.) 90% of the time, and a budding relationship between JB and his tenant, Brenda.

Dinesh and Rinku - Million Dollar Arm

Here’s the official movie description from Disney Movie Studios:

Based on a true story, sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) finds that business has changed and things aren’t going well for his career. In a last ditch effort to save his livelihood he concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket pitcher he can turn into a major league baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called “The Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin), he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18-year-old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB 4-7-14 brings the boys home to America to train. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India, the boys, who have never left their rural villages, are equally challenged when they come to the States. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball, JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell), learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.

Thinking of taking your kids to see Million Dollar Arm? Here’s what you need to know.

1. I’m planning on taking my boys (9 and 13) to see this movie as soon as they’re out of school next week! I think they’ll love it, and it’s a good story for them to see–dreams come true when you work hard.

2. There’s a close-up romantic kissing scene towards the middle of the movie, followed by JB leaving his tenant’s house and walking to his home very early in the morning. Dinesh and Rinku laugh about this, since they’re outside doing yoga early in the morning. If you’d rather your children not see the kissing scene, take them to the bathroom when Brenda begins to pour Whiskey for herself and JB.

3. There is some joking about kissing following the scene.

4. The movie isn’t about baseball–it’s about cultures and dreams and life-changing events. Though there is a lot of pitching and coaching, there aren’t any baseball games in the movie.

So, tell me–are you going to see Million Dollar Arm?

Comments

  1. I think your review was spot on! I’m not a big fan of sports movies, but I really liked Million Dollar Arm. I enjoyed seeing the players that the movie was based on at the end. It helped bring it home that this was a real story.

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