Directed by Barry Levinson (1984)
by Rosalie Kicks!,
Old Sport at Moviejawn
The Natural has always had a special place in my heart. I can’t recall the specific age I was when I first viewed it, all I can remember is that it was my dad that introduced me to Roy Hobbs.
Growing up I was never too close with my dad. He’s not really the warm and fuzzy type. Most times he could be regarded as a hermit or recluse. However, something that bonded us: BASEBALL. Just the mention of the word would bring a smile to his face, a twinkle in his eyes and baseball statistics pouring out of his mouth. Throughout my childhood my Dad worked the night shift. Every summer morning as when he would get home from work, it was always the same question: “Hey, Rosie did you watch the game last night?” We would actually have a conversation. Baseball was a way for me to interact with this dude I lived with. The thing is, I do really like baseball. A LOT actually. There is something about the simplicity of it all. A bat. A ball. Nine players. A summer is not complete with a trip to the ballpark.
The game has always been regarded as “America’s Pastime.” Over the years people’s opinions have changed about the sport specifically after the strike in 1994 and then of course the whole performance enhancing drug issue. Roy Hobbs is a reminder of what the sport used to be. For my dad it is a reminder of his childhood. How the game used to be played and when players truly cared for the sport. Hobbs is what we believe baseball players should be. A guy that perseveres despite all the obstacles life has handed him to achieve one goal: to play baseball. He continues to believe in his dream and is driven by the love he has for the game. For Hobbs there is nothing that matters more than baseball.
There are over a hundred baseball movies out there. I have enjoyed some other titles but nothing comes close to the feelings I have for The Natural. Those old sports in Hollywood continue to make baseball movies, hoping they will become a classic that everyone holds close to their hearts. Boy do they need to try harder. Did anyone even watch that Jon Hamm, Million Dollar Arm thing that was released by Disney? No? Yea, me either. Or what about Trouble with the Curve? A Clint Eastwood thing that has him play a grumpy old dude, AGAIN. These films will be forgotten. Roy Hobbs will continue to be part of my summer nights and remind me of that dude I used to lived with…my dad.