Greetings again from the darkness. This is a Christian Faith-based message movie designed to encourage more dads to get involved with their son’s activities. Youth baseball is the game of choice here, placing it right in my wheelhouse (as a long time volunteer youth baseball coach).
Familiar faces are sprinkled throughout the production, including Burgess Jenkins and Gregory Alan Williams, both from Remember the Titans (2000). Mr. Jenkins plays Joe Finn, a local baseball legend, who coached his son David’s (Justin Miles) team to the championship seven years earlier (as seen via flashback). When tragedy brings Joe back to town, it’s clear David is harboring frustration and anger towards his dad, who had abandoned his family for a job opportunity. David’s bitterness is in the early stages (known as disappointment) and he doesn’t understand why Joe is so intent on “fixing” the problem of uninvolved dads with the team David is coaching.
Social commentary abounds as we recognize many familiar themes – dads that are just too busy, dads chasing the brass ring, dads who have made some poor decisions. It seems many dads are fine with placing the burden on the coach, and vital life lessons have not yet been taught: discipline, respect, good work habits. This message could just as easily been delivered via school teachers, with as many parents hiding behind “you are the teacher” as “you are the coach“. Sure, this message may be simple and obvious, but it’s still an important one.
Director Manny Edwards and his co-writer John Fornoff choose to minimize the role of moms in the story, and instead focus on the active role dads can play in the emotional and physical growth of their sons. The film not only emphasizes how crucial this is, but also how often dads are just too busy advancing a career to even play catch … reminding us of the climactic scene in Field of Dreams.
Peppered with life lessons and parenting advice, the film crosses generations in its plea to dads to embrace the most important role of their lives – that of being an involved and active parent. It also drives home the message that it’s never too late, as Joe tells David, “I can’t go back. I’m here today“.
For more information on the film and to see the official trailer, visit the official website at: