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

Acoustic music and some pasty dude walking through the frame introduce us to a diner that is visited by main characters and literally no one else (except the frame intruder).

You can just not have this in your movie.

The ladies, hidden behind the fine gentleman in the photo, are enjoying some milkshakes. Across the diner, Brandon and Tyler are also drinking milkshakes and competing at… something indiscernible. We learn that Tyler got a call from Ron, and he’s “in”.

That’s right, whether or not he’ll be a professional baseball player is decided off screen in this baseball movie!

If they had used real baseball stuff, they could’ve had the draft be an important scene where we’re trying to see whether he’ll go to the Angels and get to keep playing in Salt Lake City to stay with Heather. Who knows why they didn’t show any of it to us. Maybe they just couldn’t figure out how to do a phone call on camera between people in two different locations, and they didn’t want to have Ron saunter up to Tyler out of nowhere again.

So now Tyler shouldn’t have to pretend to date Heather since he’s now a famous baseball player, right? Even though he likes her, and she likes him, and he probably needs to keep up the charade until he makes the major league roster (knowing this movie he’ll join the major league squad the second he leaves school). Turns out, Brandon wants to say something about her but he is interrupted by his sister, Kami, and Heather.

Is this a new night? The same one? It’s impossible to tell, but Heather (in a peak Lala-as-herself moment) taunts Tyler for being out “past his bedtime” (because he abandoned their hot tubbing in the last scene by saying he needed to go to bed). The issue is that he’s wearing the same hat that he wore before hot tubbing so it may be the same night, it really is impossible to tell how time moves in this film. Meanwhile, Brandon starts telling a blonde joke while Kami takes off her shoe and tries to put her foot inside of Tyler. He is, once again, uncomfortable with the fact that a woman wants to touch him, and the two men rush off because Tyler can’t stand the presence of females. Heather says, “Past his bedtime” again because we must not have heard it the first time, and Brandon has to emasculate Tyler before they bounce.



(What I presume to be) the next day, Tyler is at the batting cages… again. Heather walks up to ask why he’s being such a weirdo. She’s confused by his mixed signals since he asked her out in the first scene but now he’s being stand-offish.

He wants to know what was up with all that foot stuff beneath the table she wasn’t doing.

She has no idea what he’s talking about, and can’t believe that he would totally ignore her.

He thinks he had a right to be a jerk because she was being, in his words, “overly flirtatious”.

Seriously, movie? Did you forget earlier when he was peacocking around showing her how badass and hot he is? When he was super flirtatious with her in his attempts to date this woman who is “not his type”? Seriously, what the hell is going on?

The movie blames Heather for being too flirtatious by betting him a kiss during a game of pool, sitting near him in a hot tub, and (in his mind) rubbing her foot against his leg. This relationship has clearly gone too far, and it’s time for the man to put this wild woman in her place.

Heather didn’t know he dated the woman she lives with, and then they make up or whatever. The image of a fence and piece of mesh coming between these two is a great visual metaphor for the thin, inorganic plot, though.

How not to do an establishing shot.

Later, maybe that day, Tyler is at baseball practice. Ron, who has already recruited Tyler, is present. Maybe he’s seeing if Tyler still has that hot piece locked down? Practice lasts about two seconds, and Tyler is out of his sweet yellow uniform when he gets a call from Heather. What’s weird about this is that he already has his phone to his face, but he’s silently bro-ing it up with body language that says, “I’m on the phone but I’m acknowledging you”. So did he answer the phone off screen, not talk for a solid two seconds, then answer the call? It’s a little thing, but it shows how minute timing affects the feel of a performance. Body language that doesn’t feel natural can hold a scene back. 

To make it worse, a woman walks straight up to him with a plate of cookies before Tyler and Heather can exchange more than a line. What’s Heather up to? Did she play a game? How did it go? Apparently no one cares. The woman is the one from earlier who couldn’t hold her ranch dressing. Heather is not having any of this, and she’s upset that a woman would ever speak to him even though they are not dating. She hangs up on him because a man in military fatigues shows up out of nowhere.

Cinematic parallels. Just look at that triangular shape (Satanic symbolism?) created through the blocking, and that color – kinda-teal and green are both greenish… plus there’s SLCC blue… it all lines up, this is cinematic art in a nutshell.

Meanwhile, we cut back to Tyler who is once again forced to talk to this woman who does not know how to act. Tyler is clearly placating this girl and “trying to be nice” by going out with her on this date, because he does not seem comfortable at all (that’s normal for him around women, though). But she’s like, “that girl who was on the phone, is she your girlfriend?” I’m sorry, you knew he was on the phone with a girl and you just walked up here to interrupt? Is this girl supposed to be an evil temptress too? Watching her try to act is so awkward, and it’s all the more painful when he accepts her date offer even though he clearly doesn’t want to. He tells her that Heather is “just a friend”, which still makes no sense because they like each other and he has incentive to date her. Can the movie explain what his type is? Is it bad actors who can’t hold onto ranch dressing?

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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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