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"FOR LOVE OF THE GAME"
(1999) (Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Heavy Minor None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Mild Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A veteran baseball pitcher, having just learned that the love of his life is leaving him and that he's to be traded to another team, tries to pitch the game of his career.
PLOT:
It hasn't been a good day for veteran Detroit Tigers pitcher, Billy Chapel (KEVIN COSTNER). Not only has he learned that owner Gary Wheeler (BRIAN COX) has sold the team meaning he's likely to be traded, but the love of his life, Jane Aubrey (KELLY PRESTON), has announced she's moving to London for a new job.

Wheeler, who's disgusted with what the game has become, encourages Chapel to retire, but the pitcher isn't sure that's what's for him. What he is sure of, however, is that he's going to pitch the game of his life in what may be the last outing of a distinguished career. Thus, despite manager Frank Perry (J.K. SIMMONS) being concerned about Chapel's arm and wanting to replace his longtime catcher and personal friend Gus Sinski (JOHN C. REILLY), Chapel sets out to prove that he's still got what it takes.

As the game with the New York Yankees begins and he faces intimidating hitters such as Sam Tuttle (MICHAEL PAPAJOHN), Chapel begins recollecting his career and romance with Jane. With his effort turning into a potential no-hitter, Billy thinks back not only to former teammates such as Davis Birch (BILL ROGERS) and his own rehabilitation after an off-season injury nearly ended his career, but also to first meeting Jane, her daughter, Heather (JENA MALONE), and the on-again, off-again relationship with Jane over the last five years.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast, or of baseball movies and/or romantic dramas, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For brief strong language and some sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • KEVIN COSTNER plays a somewhat self-absorbed professional baseball player nearing the end of his career. He cusses and drinks (the latter more than the former), and sleeps with Jane on their first date (and later does the same with his masseuse). He's also mean to Jane during his rehabilitation, but is very good at what he does and pushes himself to the limit to go out at the top of his game.
  • KELLY PRESTON plays his on-again, off-again girlfriend who likewise sleeps with him on their first date. She also uses some profanity, smokes once and had her daughter when she was sixteen, but has made a mark for herself in her career since then.
  • JOHN C. REILLY plays Billy's best friend and the team's catcher who cusses some and is rather drunk in one scene.
  • J.K. SIMONS plays the team's manager who's concerned about Billy's condition as the game progresses.
  • BRIAN COX plays the team's former owner who encourages Billy to retire after the season.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this PG-13 rated, sports/romantic drama. Profanity is heavy due to at least 1 use of the "f" word (by a miscellaneous character), while other cuss words and colorful phrases are also present. Some sexual encounters occur off camera (we do see some passionate making out beforehand, however) and a few bits of sexually related dialogue also occur.

    A moderate amount of drinking occurs with one supporting character being drunk while a minor amount of smoking is also present. A man's hand is severely cut off camera, resulting in our seeing a moderate amount of blood, while that same man exhibits some bad attitudes toward others as he tries to focus on rebuilding/maintaining his career.

    Beyond that, the thematic elements of a daughter briefly running away from home, the lead characters' on-again, off-again relationship and the fact that the lead female character had her daughter when she was just sixteen, the rest of the film's categories are relatively void of any major objectionable content.

    Nonetheless, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at the more detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some players drink what may be alcoholic beverages in the first-class section of their plane, but the content of those drinks couldn't be confirmed.
  • Billy has wine in a hotel room while waiting for Jane to show up. Later, we see that he's finished the bottle as well as several mini-bottles of liquor. In a later view of this same scene, we see this again.
  • We see several scenes of people having beer and drinks at an airport bar where Jane also orders a drink.
  • Billy and Jane have wine with dinner.
  • Billy has a beer and we see several beer cans by him as he helps a teammate move.
  • Billy has a drink in a bar (as do others) while waiting for Jane to show up.
  • Billy has a beer during spring training and later has a drink.
  • Heather states that she ran away to her father's house because he doesn't care what she does, and that's because he's "stoned" most of the time (we never see him or any drugs).
  • Billy has a beer and does so again with dinner by himself in a later scene.
  • People have wine at an art reception and we see liquor at a bar where a few people have drinks.
  • People have wine with lunch.
  • Billy escorts a very drunk Gus back to his hotel room.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Billy's hand is very bloody after he cuts it with a table saw (we don't see the accident) and we briefly see some blood on the window of a hospital helicopter.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some Yankee fans heckle and belittle Billy during the game.
  • A tow truck driver is mean toward Jane until he sees Billy and (as a fan) changes his tune.
  • Billy sleeps with another woman (although he's under the impression that he and Jane are dating under a noncommital agreement).
  • As Billy goes through rehabilitation, he treats Jane poorly, telling her, "You make me feel distracted. You make me feel weak," all of which eventually causes her to move out.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Billy's hand is very bloody after he cuts it with a table saw (we don't see the accident) and Jane then rushes him to the emergency room and tries to get someone to see him while he's in obvious pain.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Screw" (sexual and nonsexual), "Chicken sh*t," "Bastards," "What the…" "You suck," "You stupid piece of…" "Freakin,'" "Horny," "Pissed off," "Idiot," "Freaked out" and "Pansy."
  • Some Yankee fans heckle and belittle Billy during the game.
  • Gus gives "the finger" (upside down) as a pitching call/gesture.
  • Billy purposefully throws a pitch at a player for crowding home plate.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A little bit of dramatic music occurs during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word (and 1 slang term for the sexual use of that word -- "screw"), 13 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 3 asses (1 used with "hole"), 3 hells, 1 damn, 1 S.O.B., 1 crap, and 9 uses of "G-damn," 7 o f "Oh God," 4 each of "Jesus" and "God," and 1 use each of "Oh Jesus," "Oh my God" and "Jesus Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see the back of Billy's underwear as he gets undressed while preparing for the game.
  • Jane mentions that people should have signs around their necks to describe themselves and includes "horny" as an example (but not meaning for herself).
  • We see Billy and Jane passionately making out in an elevator and then see her in his bed the next morning (under the covers), implying that they had sex.
  • Discussing their amorous encounter, Jane states that "I don't do that. Not since I was in college…I just don't screw like that."
  • When describing herself as plain, Jane says that she doesn't wear sexy underwear because it's really uncomfortable.
  • We see Billy lying on a massage table with only a towel covering his crotch. Later, and as Jane unexpectedly arrives at his place, we see that Billy's masseuse spent the night with him (and we see that woman in her high-cut underwear).
  • As Jane explains that she can't be a baseball groupie, she states that she can't just come down to spring training, get a player's autograph and "sleep with Mr. Right Guard (Billy)."
  • Jane shows a bit of cleavage.
  • Heather asks Billy if he's her mom's boyfriend, he responds "I'm not sure" and she replies, "But you've slept with her?" He just smiles and then tries to change the subject.
  • We learn that Jane had Heather when she was just sixteen.
  • Billy and Jane do some more passionate making out (but fully clothed and standing). Later, we see them in bed under the sheets with her asking him, "What are you doing down there?" It turns out he was retrieving a flashlight and we don't see anything sexual occur, but when she jokes, "It's not mine," he replies, "Oh, you mean it doubles as a flashlight?" as he crawls on top of her (presumably making a reference to the flashlight being a vibrator).
  • SMOKING
  • Jane smokes once, while Billy smokes a cigar during a montage.
  • During another montage (and without any dialogue), it appears that Jane is upset with Heather over finding some of her cigarettes (we don't see any smoking).
  • Although it appears that Perry may be chewing tobacco, we later see him blow a bubble, so it's possible that all of the scenes featuring him chewing something all involved gum and not chewing tobacco.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Billy briefly mentions both of his parents being deceased.
  • Jane's daughter runs away from home (we hear about this through a phone call and don't see what led up to it) and goes to her father's place (later stating she did so because he doesn't care what she does).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Billy's attitude toward putting his career ahead of his relationship with Jane.
  • The life of a professional athlete and how sports have changed over the years.
  • We learn that Jane had Heather when she was just sixteen.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see Jane kicking her broken-down rental car.
  • Billy's hand is severely cut by a table saw (occurs off camera, but we do see the bloody results).
  • Billy violently slides Jane's items off a bathroom counter top.



  • Reviewed September 14, 1999 / Posted September 17, 1999

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