Baseball Movie Month: Bull Durham
As we continue our look at baseball movies in the month of January, we move on to Bull Durham.
Bull Durham is a 1988 Comedy Drama starring Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon. Often considered to being one of the best sports movies of all time, it's considered a baseball movie classic.
I saw it once early in college and was kind of unimpressed. Didn't remember too much. I watched it again... and was unimpressed. It treads an odd line between sports movie, raunchy sex comedy, and melodrama. But when a movie tries taking a few too many scoops of ice cream, you just wind up with a bellyache. A few jokes I smiled at, but none made me laugh. There's decent beginner baseball chatter, but it's not deep enough to satisfy. There's an odd three way romance. I just didn't get it.
To be honest, I was pretty put off with the sex and swearing. And if you know my taste in movies, normally that stuff doesn't shut me down. I love Goodfellas and Casino. I've laughed some of my hardest laughs at Borat's naked wrestling scene. But those movies used their adult content elements in ways to push a story forward. In Bull Durham, it's almost pointless, just filler. And it's constant too.
As a baseball movie, it doesn't really add much to the mystique of the game. It's just one part sex comedy, one part melodrama, taking place at the ballpark. And really, it's not that funny either. There's a handful of memorable moments and one liners, but not nearly enough to last it's 2 hour plug runtime.
It's too long, not funny enough, and off-putting at times. I won't knock others for liking it, but it's not for me. It's well acted at least. I can see why some might enjoy the romance, but I cannot say how Bull Durham is considered to be one of the best baseball movies of all time. 4/10
Tim Robbins was 30 during filming. Kevin Costner was just 3 years older than him, age 33.
The "Hit bull, free steak" sign was created for the movie. The team kept it after filming.
Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins were a real life couple.