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Exceedingly likeable Junior College student, Calvin Marshall (Alex Frost) is chasing a lifelong dream to become a professional baseball player. He s got the drive, determination, ambition, heart and dedication. One small problem; he hasn t got the athletic ability to make it happen. But, Calvin believes that if he doesn t give up, he will eventually succeed. As he pursues his dream, Calvin is thwarted by the sympathetic but misguided intentions of the college baseball coach (Steve Zahn) who refuses to cut the talent-challenged ballplayer from his team roster, even though he knows Calvin will never get to play in a single game. At the same time, Calvin is encouraged by his burgeoning romance with a new arrival on campus, Tori Jensen (Michelle Lombardo), a beautiful volleyball player who possesses all the exceptional athletic skills that Calvin somehow lacks. However, a little white lie on Calvin s part could end his new relationship before it s even really begun. Through it all, Calvin bounces back from each set-back, more determined than ever to see his dreams become a reality. Eventually, the truth catches up to Calvin and he has to come to terms with who he really is and what his future holds. By facing failure and overcoming disappointment, he is awakened to the reality that choosing a new and more fitting dream to follow is the most difficult, but ultimately most rewarding, part of the journey.
A truly excellent cast...as well as a sharp and funny script. --Austinist
Succeeds in the most important ways: writing, directing, acting. --Hammer to Nail
A moving portrait of small-town life and the fallout from unrealized dreams --The New Yorker
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The acting was well done (if a bit volcanic by Steve Zahn) but hit most of the right shades and tones. Whenever the film wandered perilously close to maudlin self absorption and cloying sentimentality, it recovered with the help of deft comic timing.
The baseball was believable and well photographed and staged, and relationships true and conceptually understandable. The only misstep in my mind was the inevitable-ish pairing of the Doug and Tori characters. It was as if the screenwriters decided that level of tension was required to elicit more passion from the title character. Calvin's aggression towards Coach Little became an overplayed caricature- both unnecessary and infantile. The coach's womanizing and drinking was also exaggerated to the point of excess but never strayed over the line.
Aside from some occasionally (and hilariously) profane dialog, it's a story that appeals to all ages. There is true chemistry between Coach and Calvin. Michelle Lombardo (as Tori) vacillates between coquettish post teen shallowness and absorbing angst (the scene with her mother).
"Calvin Marshall" was a special experience and much more than a mere "baseball flick".
Eventually, the truth catches up to Calvin and he has to come to terms with who he really is and what his future holds. By facing failure and overcoming disappointment, he is awakened to the reality that choosing a new and more fitting dream to follow is the most difficult, but ultimately most rewarding, part of the journey. This is a great film if you're looking for an inspirational story that is not sugar-coated.