The Scout

Albert Brooks plays a baseball scout down on his luck who discovers a new baseball sensation in Mexico (Brendan Fraser), great at batting and pitching but more than a little dysfunctional at everything else. An uneasy father-son relationship develops between the two. A bewildering misfire unworthy of Brooks’s own films (though he contributed to the script with Andrew Bergman, as did his own usual script collaborator, Monica Johnson), but reasonably funny and quirky if expectations are lowered. Some continuity problems (e.g., a date for the baseball hero who appears out of nowhere) suggest a certain amount of studio interference. Michael Ritchie directed, and the story was suggested by an article by the New Yorker’s Roger Angell; with Dianne Wiest, Anne Twomey, Lane Smith, and a heap of cameos, including Bob Costas and Tony Bennett. (JR)

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