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For Love of the Game

Director:Sam Raimi
Writer:Dana Stevens
Universal; PG-13; 137 minutes
Cast:Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly, Jena Malone

Perhaps trying to film three decent baseball movies (Bull Durham, Field of Dreams) is a little too much for Kevin Costner. It's like pitching a no-hitter, which is what his character Billy Chapel is attempting to do on the last day of his career. Billy's arm is fading but his grit remains intact. Director Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, A Simple Plan ) slides a plodding love story between baseball scenes. In the romance portion, told primary through flashbacks, Billy struggles against his own self-absorption for the love of journalist Jane Aubrey (Kelly Preston).

Will the acclaimed pitcher end his lauded career with a perfect game? Will he realize that the perfect woman can finally be his, if he only leaves baseball (which he's being asked to do anyway)? Another suspense-free movie for sports buffs and soft hearts alike.

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