I can't make it out to every event, so I'm super lucky to have this guest post by our in house movie reviewer (and my awesome neighbor), Stephen.
Short Spoiler Free Movie Review: I recently had the opportunity to see Disney's "Million Dollar Arm" which stars Mad Men's Jon Hamm as a once-successful sports agent who goes to India looking to find American baseball's next big thing among the cricket players. Now first off, I think you--my dear readers--should know that I am somewhat a self-proclaimed expert when it comes to all things relating to India and Indian culture. After all, I've seen both "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Bend It Like Beckham" as well as ALL three "Harold & Kumar" movies. Additionally, I have upwards of several Indian friends. (Editor's Note: The author is joking about being an expert but oftentimes sarcasm/facetiousness do not translate through the written word.)
But enough about me, let's get to the movie, seeing as that's what you're here for. The central plot of the movie is that Hamm's agent goes to India with a plan to hold a contest to find two of the best cricket players. The winners would then come to the States to train and become professional baseball players which would thus capture new MLB viewers/fans in the form of the huge Indian populace. Spoiler alert (but the astute reader well may have predicted this): He does find two worthy players with the help of Alan Arkin (in a sarcastically funny but understated role as a retired baseball talent scout) and brings them back to the States.
The two aspiring baseball players are fairly likeable and, while the movie doesn't become a slapstick "Kumar & Kumar" clone, it does have its moments (including some relating to the aforementioned Arkin--look for his "43" moment). There are also a number of true head nods to the Indian way of life, including: the ever present but always ambiguous Indian "head-bob", the positive "can-do" attitude that prevails even when nothing is going according to plan, and the fact that honking your car horn in bumper-to-bumper traffic somehow helps move things along. These and other mannerisms give an air of authenticity to the movie. That said, this Disney movie definitely does "Disneyfy" things in India making situations seem (relatively) more pleasant than as portrayed in Slumdog Millionaire. It does tend to be rather formulaic and predictable (including the everpresent montage). However, even given such factors, it still makes for a slick entertaining diversion. Once again Disney doesn't disappoint with turning a "true story" into a feel good movie. And although the movie is possibly devoid of true substance--it, nonetheless, is brim full of wholesome "feel goodness". Not my typical box office fare; however, I did enjoy it and wasn't disappointed. That said, the soundtrack (did I actaully hear Eminem?) is also something to which I can "bob" my head.
Hi! my name is Andrea and I'm a not-so-average Northern Virginia blogger, mom, and transplant from the Midwest. I host Girls Night Out events, meet ups, and write about events and my adventures in the DC area. I love to travel, brunch, and drink wine with my neighbors! I'm known to live on the wild side and order Venti iced double shots at 5pm.
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