Darryl Palmer (Michael O’Keefe) is an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves who is in a hitting slump until he meets a singer named Debby (Rebecca De Mornay). Debby agrees to go on a date with Darryl if he can manage to hit two home runs in his next game. Darryl does it and soon, he and Debby are married. Debby becomes Darryl’s good luck charm. When she comes to his games and when he’s confident that she loves him, Darryl hits home run after home run. When Debby tries to pursue her music career and have a life of her own, Darryl gets into a slump. After Debby gets tired of Darryl’s possessiveness and leaves him, his manager and his teammates decide that the key to winning the pennant is for Darryl to get laid.
(Are you listening, Rangers?)
Because it mixed baseball and romance, I thought I would like The Slugger’s Wife but actually I couldn’t stand it. Darryl’s such an insecure and possessive jerk that his behavior is often abusive. By the end of the movie, I didn’t care if the Braves won the Pennant. I just wanted Debby to come to her senses and get as far away from Darryl as possible. Darryl’s so unlikable that I couldn’t take any pleasure in him threating to break Roger Maris’s homerun record. He didn’t deserve the success and he certainly didn’t deserve Debby.
The one thing that the movie got right is how superstitious baseball can make someone. A few seasons ago, I noticed that the Rangers always seemed to win whenever I didn’t watch the game so I decided the key to finally returning to the World Series would be for me to just not watch the games at all. I spent the whole season just reading about the games after they ended. It was difficult because I love to watch baseball. But I also really wanted the Rangers to have a winning season so I refused to watch a single game.
Like this movie, it didn’t work.
Like you, I found this movie hard to watch. On another note, hopefully you aren’t waiting too much longer for the Rangers to have a winning season 🙂
Michael O’ Keefe just didn’t work as a leading man in a rom-com…there’s a certain quality needed and sometimes it just doesn’t work (see Jack Black in “The Holiday”) I also think the whole concept here is forced…I saw this a long time ago but always remember how much I didn’t like it, and your review brought it all back!
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