Reteaming star Billy Bob Thornton with the writers of Bad Santa and putting him under the care of director Richard Linklater, this remake of one of the most subversive comedies of the 1970s has all the ingredients for success all the ingredients, that is, save a relevant social context. In a world that's already seen South Park and Wonder Showzen, how much call is there for loudly inappropriate kids to re-storm the baseball diamond, especially when their most infamous (and thus essential) line of dialogue has been excised? The quaint shadow of outrages past hovers over this otherwise faithful interpretation, which acts as if girls playing softball is still the height of insurrection; the few changes that have been made provide a quickie lesson in which demographic groups remain fair game for pillorying and which ones are now simply too lawyered up. Linklater, who won big by casting nonactors in School of Rock, has less luck with his latest team of unknowns, whose occasionally flat line readings fail to fully realize the rage that bubbles just beneath the Bears' profound ineptitude. (Local boy Jeff Davies is, thankfully, a highly professional exception.) What the remake does contribute is a reassuringly unforced tone and the idea that losing with (something like) dignity beats winning at all costs a message that resonates even more now than it did in 1976.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.