The Problem With The Sandlot
The Sandlot is a wonderful movie. For the most part. It captures the innocence and naivette of youth, the spectacle of a boy’s ignorance, the value of friendship, and the lessons a coming-of-age boy learns through the game of baseball. It’s funny, endearing, and heartwarming. I like it so much that even if it is on network television I will sit through the commercials just to at least get to the scene with Wendy Peffercorn.
Some parents found problems with the movie in that the main character’s step-dad is kind of a dick, but I let that slide. Obviously Denis Leary just grabbed ahold of Karen Allen there and the kid is merely an afterthought; and you know what? I’m with Leary on that one. Karen Allen is a babe. The kid: kind of a goober. And really, if Leary was supportive in any way, the kid wouldn’t bother making friends and we wouldn’t have a plot for the movie. Bully for Leary! Continue your romance with Karen.
And sometimes the movie makes you suspend disbelief just a bit. For instance, are we really to believe that a goddamn blind man has a collection of autographed baseballs? What kind of silly nonsense is that? Are they signed in brail? Is his baseball card collection consisting of nothing but small, blank rectangular cuts of cardboard from years of unfair trades?
But that’s fine. That’s part of the movie-going experience. I’m cool with that. But there is something that leaves me scratching my head every time. It concerns the end of movie; not exactly how Benny steals home with a mustache that creates more wind resistance than a drag chute.
No, the problem is with the entire epilogue itself. This movie took place in 1962. These kids are between the ages of 10 and let’s say 13.
You telling me that none of these kids died in Vietnam? In all of Smalls’ epilogue at the end of the movie, not once did he mention Vietnam, the draft, the threat of communism…none of it. He simply said that everyone went on to be happy. And that’s bullshit. These kids would have been prime draft bait by the time the war rolled around.
There was one mention of the military and it concerned the character Yeah-Yeah. Apparently, he was shipped off to military school. And this, I thought, is where I would find out that at least one of them got killed in the war in Viet-fucking-nam, but no! They just go on to say that he went to military school….and became a pioneer in bungee jumping. Is that how he got out of inhaling Agent Orange and digging out foxholes? Bungee jumping? That’s an even worse excuse than when Forrest Gump was pardoned from Vietnam to play fucking Ping-Pong.
According to the movie, Bertram “…got really into the 60’s…and no one ever saw him again.” I…I don’t know what the fuck that means. “Got really into the 60’s”? Like, with drugs and stuff? Is that what they were implying? If you tell me that someone “really got into the 60’s” and then promptly disappeared, I can only assume that he is traveling at speeds faster than that of light, dispersing his soul from one end of the universe’s consciousness to the other, back and forth, answering all questions but unable to speak. Of course, in reality, he is actually laying comatose on his crusty futon OD’ing on mescaline, shrooms, and LSD in his camper while his pet ferret licks his face.
See what I mean? See how storybook that whole ending is? It’s bullshit. If you’re not going to send one of them to Vietnam, they could have at least put Hamilton in Marine boot camp and have one of those “Section 8” stories where the drill instructor finds a jelly donut in Hamilton’s locker and the rest of the guys pin him down and beat him with a bar of soap wrapped in a towel in the middle of the night. That should have been Hamilton’s story. Couldn’t they at least have done that? Well, that’s my only gripe with the movie. Other than that, it was a lot of fun!
Next I am going to watch The Sandlot 2, and if there isn’t a mention of Grenada, I am seriously going to flip my shit. Or maybe they could just do a blurb about one of the kids growing up to drink the Kool Aid at Jonestown. I’m just looking for a little realism here, that’s all.
Why not have a towel party of your own? Download the free e-book of essays written by the author of this article. Simply click here