A League of Their Own Reviews
Penny Marshall grew into a talented director, but much of the credit for the film's success lies with Babaloo Mandel and Lowell Ganz whose script finds just the right mix of nostalgia, sentiment and truly funny one-liners. If for nothing else, the film will always be remembered for the "There's no crying in baseball" speech, but it's Jon Lovitz who gets the biggest laughs in a small part as a recruiter.
However, his is just a small role in this wonderful ensemble cast who work so well together, and each of them are given at least one moment to shine. Tom Hanks and Geena Davis are terrific, but Marshall also manages to get the best out of smaller stars like Rosie O'Donnell and Lori Petty. Even Madonna is very good in what is easily the best performance of her acting career.
Even the overy sentimental finale works within the context of the film, in which the major players get back together decades later, even if I did wonder why other actors were hired to play the character's older selves except for Davis. She shows up in fairly unconvincing make-up. It's a minor distraction.
"A League of Their Own" builds a winning fictional story out of a factual but little known era in sports history and slams it out of the park. It's pretty irresistible.