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Forty-year-old pitcher Billy Chapel is practically a dinosaur by professional baseball standards, fast approaching the end of his career. After a bad season, just before he is about to start in what could be his final game, his girlfriend tells Billy that she's leaving him...for good.
Vanity is one thing, but Costner's act is beginning to feel like a particularly self-righteous -- and tiresome -- form of pathology. Someone should tell him that an actor's job is to disappear into his characters, not vice-versa.
This is no perfect -- or even half-perfect -- game. It's another movie where conventions are subbed for life lessons, where the emotions are cued by golden oldies and where the motivation (at least on the studio's part) isn't love of the game but money.
The baseball sequences are fabulous, not least because Costner looks and moves like a real player a rarity for actors in sports movies... But the love story, a five-year off-and-on affair, is little more than a sop to Costner's romantic faithful.