Review: Game 6

Set in 1986 during the infamous World Series Baseball championship, playwright Michael Keaton is just as nervous about the opening night of his new play (and in particular the expected savage review from uber-nasty, uber-reclusive critic Robert Downey Jr), as he is about the fate of his beloved Red Sox. He runs into his bitter ex (Catherine O’Hara), his mistress (Bebe Neuwirth), his distant daughter (Ari Graynor), a dishevelled and paranoid colleague (Griffin Dunne), an aging actor who can’t remember simple lines just fed to him (Harris Yulin), and cab drivers of just about every ethnicity known to man.

Self-consciously affected, stagy and essentially useless for most people outside of America, this 2005 Michael Hoffman (“Soapdish”) uber low-budget film is well-acted but never terribly credible. Pretentious and heavy-handed devices (A religious cabbie mother and son team, repeated phrases, the use of the title sports event itself as being important to the main character etc.) aggravate beyond belief. Downey’s role is seriously overwritten and almost laughable, hardly his finest hour on screen.

However, some of the performances do make it watchable; O’Hara’s one scene is great, Dunne and (especially) character actor Yulin are effective, and Keaton still remains one of the great unsung talents (and the best-ever Batman). Sadly, his career resurgence of sorts hadn’t begun at this point. Scripted by first-timer Don DeLillo (apparently a novelist and playwright) this might have more meaning to those familiar with American baseball. I’ve heard of the title match in the World Series, but couldn’t tell you what was so significant about it in relation to this story. It’s not bad, but you won’t remember it afterwards, despite a pretty impressive cast, and I’m not a fan of films that come off as very stagey.

Rating: C+


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