Bull Durham

One of the more delightful things about this sharp baseball comedy is that you don’t have to be a sports fan to have lots of fun with it. Written and directed by rookie Ron Shelton, the movie evokes Howard Hawks (in spirit if not in letter) in its tight focusing on a snug, obsessive world of insiders and camp followers where the exchanges between buddies and sexes both have a euphoric stylishness and a giddy sense of ritual. Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon make an appealing triangle: an overlooked, smarter, and older catcher (Costner) is hired by the Durham Bulls mainly to coach a more successful, dumber, and younger pitcher (Robbins); Sarandon is a groupie who believes in “the church of baseball” and is drawn to both of them. On the level of plot, this movie somehow loses itself before the final inning, but there’s loads of laughter and enjoyment on the way to the lockers. (Starts Wednesday, Golf Glen, Biograph, Water Tower, Ford City East, Deerbrook, Yorktown)

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