I don’t watch movies to make friends. I watch them to either enjoy them or take to the Internet to rip the ever-loving stuffing out of them, as is my constitutional right that the forefathers once gifted to me in a peyote-induced dream. And one movie that I have long loathed with every fiber of my being is the 2001 baseball movie Summer Catch, which starred Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lillard as two guys who had possibly seen people play baseball at one time in their lives.
Obviously, it’s not fair to open this by saying that I hate a movie, or in this case believe that Summer Catch was a terrible waste of the napkin that the script was written on, but part of this 73 Sports Movies in 73 Days experiment is to re-live films that I have previously either loved or hated and see if my mind has changed.
On Friday, I watched the horse racing comedy Hot to Trot for the first time since I was a kid, and I picked it because I had memories of thinking it was incredibly funny despite its terrible premise, writing and acting. What I learned is that my memory was wrong and it is not a movie that adult Burnsy shares fondly with child Burnsy. So was Summer Catch, which I watched this morning, a movie that could change my mind?
This is “acting”:
This is “pitching”:
This is also someone who was paid to “act”:
So let’s skip all of the breakdowns and take this movie at face value and admit together what this actually was – a reason to show Jessica Biel in a bikini.
Oh, and also Jessica Biel in a wet t-shirt.
Basically, director Michael Tollin thought, “Hey, let’s get Jessica to wear as little clothing as possible and then sit back and collect the money and fame.” And I respect that thought process, I really do. But don’t sully the name of baseball movies by offering me a delicious taco and then filling it with soggy cardboard. At the very least, cast people who know how to play baseball.
Summer Catch Fun Facts:
- Director Michael Tollin made his feature film debut with Summer Catch, after cutting his teeth with a Hank Aaron documentary and an episode of Arli$$, among several other things you’ve never heard of. He would only direct Radio after that, before going on to become the executive producer of Smallville, One Tree Hill and three 30 for 30 episodes.
- Writer Kevin Smalls made a name for himself as a sports fiction writer with episodes of Sports Night and Arli$$, but Summer Catch is the only feature film he has ever written. His current gig? Writer for Franklin & Bash.
- As for Freddie Prinze Jr., well we all know what he’s up to these days…