Dennis Quaid stars as Jimmy Morris, a Texas high school baseball coach who had dreams of playing in the minor leagues as a teenager until a shoulder injury forced him to quit. His pupils, however, have other ideas – they strike a deal with him that if they win the state school baseball championships (a seemingly impossible task, considering they are always beaten), he has to agree to try out for a major league team even though he is twenty years older than all the other players.
You can guess what happens next (this is a Disney movie, so there won’t be an unhappy ending), but what makes this so enjoyable is that it’s actually based on a true story (the real Jim, who ended up pitching for a major league team, has a cameo role as an umpire at one of the games). Quaid is just wonderful as the man who thinks his big dream has slipped through his fingers, and who has made a life for himself with a wife (Rachel Griffiths) and family that always comes first, and there’s nice support from Brian Cox as Jim’s gruff father. A warm, fuzzy treat. (Do note that there is a dreadful Clint Eastwood/Charlie Sheen thriller with the same title that should be avoided!)
Is The Rookie suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...