How can you get five inches of rain in just an hour in May in the Midwest? On May 28, 2014, to be exact. Dined at a restaurant for a few hours, only to return to our farmhouse set back from the street on some acreage, looking like it was about to float away.
Creeks had overflowed. Dirty, muddy water everywhere, way too high to drive through. Actually, impossible to drive through because you wouldn't get through it. You'd lose your car in it. And yourself. Interstate 75 shut down in both directions. Stranded at a Speedway gas station. Couldn't get in the house, couldn't get out of town.
By the way, this flood had not been forecast.
When Interstate 75 was re-opened after several hours, but only in one direction, I was told by law enforcement officers directing traffic that I could return to my house in another few hours. That the water would recede by then. Fat chance, I thought. They hadn't seen my house and the new moat around it.
So I went to the movies to pass the time. To the 10:15 P.M. showing of Million Dollar Arm, a show I had vowed not to see. It had gotten so-so reviews, and I had seen other Hamm films, only because they were Hamm films, and had not been impressed. Maybe Hamm is a comedian in real life, but he is not funny on film or on TV. Friends with Kids, Bridesmaids, Saturday Night Live hosting, not funny.
Long story short, I only saw Million Dollar Arm because a muddy moat around my house, left me with no place to go except the movies. It is said that God works in mysterious ways. This is a fun film. Not only is it a great family film. It is a great film to see with anyone.
Hamm plays a version of Mad Men's Don Draper which is why he is so good in Million Dollar Arm. That's the Jon Hamm, America fell in love with. That's the Jon Hamm America wants to see on film. He's our generation's Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, John Gavin --all rolled into one. Heck, he could play Mitt Romney even. Just saying. Instead, of trying to prove how versatile he is, he should go with what works for him and for us, his audience. A redeemable cad with a heart of gold who is easy on the eyes.
Alan Arkin plays the rusty, crusty baseball scout and is superb as always. Has Arkin ever turned in a less than perfect performance? Because if he has, I don't want to know about it.
Lake Bell and Hamm have great chemistry. She is so underrated. She gave a great performance in Its Complicated married to Alec Baldwin, and still waiting for her 2013 film, In a World to come to a movie theater in my neck of the woods.
Let's face it. Million Dollar Arm is as good as Brad Pitt's Moneyball. For those of you not into baseball, not to worry. The kids being recruited from India in the film to pitch for professional teams in America, aren't into baseball either. However, after many twists and turns, they end up fulfilling their dreams. Come on, it's a Disney movie so I'm not spoiling anything. Everyone knows that every Disney movie has a happy ending. And if you find some that don't, again, I don't want to know.
Let's just say not everyone can play for the Cubs or Sox or even the Cards, but the two prospects come close. The beauty of it all, is it's based on a true story. So, don't run out when the credits start rolling because that's when the photos of the real prospects and their lives are displayed on-screen. Sometimes, they do save the best for last!
See this movie. Take your family. Take your grandparents. Heck, take the in-laws. Take colleagues you want to succeed in business without even trying. Take Mad Men actor Robert Morse who just left the show. Just kidding. Maybe not. And maybe you'll learn a thing or two about baseball that you didn't know already. Plus you get to see Jon Hamm, doing what he does best (with Lake Bell, no less), keeping it PG.