So Bad It’s Good: Pitching Love and Catching Faith

Meanwhile, in a… building with a pool table… Heather and Tyler are playing pool. I don’t know what the purpose of the establishing shot was, it’s not like it was a date spot or anything we’d recognize like Chili’s. It’s just a building.

Perhaps the most incredible part of this entire film is how bad these actors are at pool. I guess the filmmakers couldn’t find someone who knew how to play to shoot some close-ups. Heather and Tyler can’t make a shot unless it’s a scratch, and it’s impossible to tell who is solids and who is stripes because they can barely hit a ball. Maybe they’re playing a new game where the whole goal is to hit the walls without touching a ball. They keep stopping to monologue in the middle of a shot because no one seems to realize that you can talk and play pool at the same time (or, more likely, they can’t do it).

Tyler asks for a summary of Heather’s life, and she asks, “Do you mean the textbook version, or the Diary of Anne Frank?” What? Textbooks are way longer than the Diary of Anne Frank, and why choose that book of all books? Was that in the script? Did she have a terrible childhood? Which of those is supposed to be the version you want to hear? What are we supposed to glean from this? It turns out she grew up with a happy family and has happy memories about everything, especially when softball became “her thing”. She doesn’t get too specific, just says that she was on top of the world once she held a softball in her hand. We have learned nothing about this character in a scene dedicated to fleshing her out. She also doesn’t ask about him – instead he waits a minute before waxing poetic about baseball again before bragging that he might be playing professional baseball. Then he can’t remember whose turn it is because this movie doesn’t want to stop being unintentional comedy.

You can just edit out times where your actors say dumb stuff. You could even try a second take where he doesn’t interrupt himself five times.

He moves to the opposite side of the pool table, takes a shot, and misses because Heather is a cheater. They flirt a little before she wagers a kiss if he misses the shot for realies, no fooling.



This is supposed to be dramatic, but it’s not. The idea that this guy becomes a flustered wreck who cannot fathom why a woman would want to kiss him is so absurd. He’s the TV Tropes definition of a womanizer until he’s not in control of the flirting. He’s sweating bullets at the thought of a woman’s lips. He’s gotta stop and chalk the tip of his pool cue to rally and sink this all-important shot. The tension of this movie – for adults – is that this guy is freaked out by the idea of kissing women.

Fortunately he does make it, so he makes it another day without kissing a woman. Crisis averted!

What’s so strange is that Heather has already been told, literally in the previous scene, that he doesn’t kiss girls. Why don’t they have a conversation about that? Probably because then the movie might make sense, and the writers may have to construct dialogue more complex than jokingly comparing one’s idyllic childhood to the most famous victim of the Holocaust.

Later, Tyler and Brandon are playing video games, and Brandon asks him about the scene we just watched. He tells Tyler to be careful because “his intel” says “she has a few tricks up her sleeve”.

What does that mean? Roofies?

This guy is warning his bro that the girl that he is interested in that is also interested in him might want to try to kiss him. That’s what’s happening in this movie right now. This “intel” comes from Kami who is still super into Tyler, which is why she’s telling Brandon that the girl Tyler is dating wants to kiss him… and that makes sense because how else would Tyler know the girl he wants to date wants to kiss him if his ex wasn’t warning his best friend?

Man, this is all so relatable.

And then Heather is just at the door as Tyler tries to head outside to go who knows where. How long had she been standing there? She didn’t knock, she’s just there when Tyler opens the door. Well, she wants to go hot-tubbing, which may be supposed to be one of her wily ruses. The quiet room and awkward edits where people aren’t looking at one another make this scene extra weird.

Tyler, on women.

When they get to the hot tub, Heather starts moaning and saying how good it feels, and Tyler is sitting in stony silence like her vision is based on movement. He tells her she’s trying too hard, which is rich coming from a guy who couldn’t stop flirting before the word “kiss” was mentioned. She asks what he’s thinking about, and his only response is “pure thoughts”…

Guess he’s thinking about hand sanitizer, or baseball. He cannot bear being within six feet of a woman, and then she scoots even closer – the horror!

It’s awkward when one character’s shoulder appears in a one-shot but the reverse doesn’t reciprocate.

He’s acting like she’s threatening him, when she’s really just trying to spend time with him and get to know him because the only thing he has talked to her about is baseball.

He grabs a towel and runs away, unable to communicate with her like an adult.

He could explain that, for religious reasons, he doesn’t want to get physical with women (and then Heather could mention that literally all she did was sit here and ask him questions, but whatever). It’s also obvious that the writers don’t know how flirting looks – asking what someone’s “deep dark secret is” isn’t flirtatious, it sounds like something you’d be asked by someone who wants to wear your skin. And what did she expect that answer to be? “I really want to kiss a woman but Jesus won’t let me”? That’s as dark as the movie will allow, anyway.

Maybe this could be a time to bring up fake dating to go play for the Angels, but nah. Why create a sort of interesting plot? Heather’s plan to have a conversation is foiled, and she purses her lips and sinks her shoulders into the hot tub to show that she’s real sad.

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COMMENTS

  • <cite class="fn">Daryl Ned</cite>

    Wow!! 10 page critique by Mr Jacobs? We enjoyed the very unique and sensitive handling of the subject matter of the movie! It was very interesting and novel! Thank you so much! Interested in watching more of your movies! Thank you!

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