Produced By: Millennium Entertainment
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Being that time of the year, I was in the mood to watch a baseball movie. Searching through the options available, I stumbled upon a film that I had never heard of called Home Run. The price was right - free - so I decided to check it out.
Home Run stars Scott Elrod as Cory Brant, a baseball player and alcoholic. A batting star, but frequent problem child, Cory's alcohol abuse and subsequent run-ins with the law and poor publicity rival his batting stats. When one of his drunken stunts sends him to his hometown for a public apology, Cory once again finds himself in deep trouble.
After getting into a DWI accident in which Cory's brother (James Devoti), the local district attorney, is injured, Cory's agent (Vivica A. Fox) tires to salvage his career with yet another publicity stunt. She decides that Cory will take his brother's place as coach on the local little league team, while sitting out the suspension that his own baseball team has imposed on him. Cory is also forced to enroll in the local 12-step program, Celebrate Recovery.
Being back in his hometown is no picnic for Cory who finds himself reliving the pain and anguish of his childhood, but there are some good points. He gets to see his old girlfriend Emma (Dorian Brown) again and coach her son Tyler's (Charles Henry Wyson) little league team. We later discover that Tyler is actually Cory's son, but is unaware as Cory walked out on Emma before he was born.
Wanting a relationship with Tyler, Cory tries to change his life. Unfortunately, he can't seem to believe in the program he is enrolled in, thinking he doesn't really belong there. As his life comes crashing down around him, Cory struggles with his addiction and the destruction of his baseball career. But until he can admit that he has a problem, Cory is doomed to repeat the mistakes of his father.
Home Run is less of a baseball movie and more of a film about rising up from the depths of addiction. The movie realistically portrays recovery in every aspect - denial, depression, guilt, resistance, acceptance, hope. It's a long and hard journey toward recovery - something that lasts a lifetime and in this movie, the 12-step program is not just about helping addicts recover from their addictions, but about helping people recover from difficult pasts. Mixed in among the drug addicts, alcoholics and sex addicts are victims of physical and sexual abuse, all seeking the same thing...a way to move forward in a positive manner. They find strength in each other and in God.
Yes, this movie has a religious tint to it - many 12-step recovery programs do - but it's not something that is forced down your throat. If it were, I might have turned the movie off, considering that I was looking for a baseball movie and not bible study. But I kept watching the film because the storyline was interesting, the acting was believable and the film was imbued with truthfulness regarding addiction. That and the fact that the religious aspect was there, but not all-encompassing made the movie an enjoyable experience, as does the cinematography showing off the beauty of rural Oklahoma.
If you are looking for a baseball film, Home Run is not really a movie for you. There's baseball in it, but it's not a major part of the film. The real focus is the hard battle addicts face when trying to get clean and find some semblance of normalcy in their lives. The realistic approach towards dependency and the struggle to break free in this film is something to be commended. Home Run is an excellent drama dealing with a very real and often hard to face issue, one worth watching for anyone who knows someone struggling with addiction.