While much of the humor comes from the Indian boys adapting to modern American amenities and social customs, it’s never mean-spirited. Much of that is due to Amit (Pitobash), whose boundless enthusiasm nearly steals the show. Making his American debut in Million Dollar Arm, Pitobash is earnest, funny, and appealing, all at the same time. I defy any viewer to listen to his big inspirational speech without blinking back a tear or two.

Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter Tom McCarthy (Up) provided a script with plenty of charm and good-natured humor, but the ending is so obviously telegraphed a Little Leaguer could read the signs. Since it’s the ending everyone is rooting for, we’ll give him a pass, especially since a simple Google search could tell you how it worked out in real life.

Some questionable moral views are presented and the Indians are shown praying at a shrine they set up in JB’s home, but neither takes up too much screen time. On the whole, Million Dollar Arm is a funny, uplifting, heartwarming story. The fact that it’s (somewhat loosely) based on real life is a plus. If your baseball game is rained out—or even if it’s not—consider heading inside to see Million Dollar Arm.

CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers):

  • Drugs/Alcohol: A good bit of drinking by multiple people in social settings and alone, often to the point of drunkenness.
  • Language/Profanity:  About what you’d expect from a PG film: horse cr**, da**, he**, “what the devil,” “oh my God” and “oh God.” One instance of g-d.
  • Sex/Nudity: One character has a promiscuous lifestyle; he is shown kissing various women and it is implied he had sex with them. A man accidentally walks in on a woman using the bathroom; it’s played for laughs and nothing is shown. An American explains to the Indians that in U.S. culture sex outside marriage doesn’t mean anything. Several women are shown in revealing outfits, including bikinis, but the camera doesn’t linger. A woman jokes about sleeping with a repairman to save money.
  • Violent/Frightening/Intense: A few people get hit with wild baseballs; one bloody bandage, several brief but impressive instances of vomiting.
  • Spiritual Issues: Indian scenes include images of gods, most notably on one character’s bedroom walls. The Indian characters set up a shrine in their L.A. quarters and are shown praying in front of it (with one of the American characters), a process involves some gestures with incense but no words

*Published 5/16/14