Grown Up Movies for Kids: A League of Their Own

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the lack of women in films, let alone fully realized female characters. One of my all-time least-favorite movies is actually Gone in 60 Seconds, not simply because it’s kind of a dumb movie–there are tons of kind-of dumb movies that I put up with. No, my biggest beef with it is that there is exactly one female character in the whole movie, and the point of her is to be someone for Nicholas Cage to find sexy. What year is this again? Because, seriously, I am so over that shit.

And that’s why a few weekends ago, me and the kids watched A League of Their Own. Because I don’t want them, particularly The Boy, growing up to think that women are only sexy sidekicks. And the sports hook convinced The Boy that this was his kind of movie, and the women in it convinced The Girl that this wasn’t just some dumb sports movie. Is this a great movie? No, it’s really not. But I am really sick of movies about men. Just, really sick of them. So, once in a while, it’s nice to watch a movie about women, and Geena Davis is lovely and tough and makes up for Rosie O’Donnell’s overacting.

I actually find this movie to be a little schmaltzy. OK, a lot schmaltzy. But so is Secretariat, and we all know how much The Boy loves that one. He just really gets worked up about who’s gonna win a sports event, so he gets really into movies with sporting events in them. He also likes rooting for a team, which made this movie hard for him, actually. He got that the Peaches were the team we were supposed to be rooting for, so when (SPOILER ALERT) the younger sister goes to play for a different team and they win the big game, we literally had to pause the movie so he could process his feelings about that. And by process his feelings, I mean we had to talk it through for 10 minutes, he was that upset. You know The Boy likes a movie when he has to process his feelings about it.

There’s some swearing in this movie, and the coach is drunk an awful lot. These are not deal breakers for us–we have lots of conversations about how you shouldn’t drink too much alcohol because it will make you sick and do stupid things, and we’re working on teaching him appropriate use of swear words right now. (“Honey, we say crap when something is bad, not just when we’re surprised or excited. Don’t waste crap on something piddly–you may need that word later when you stub your toe.”) But, if the swears are an issue in your family, I am pretty sure you can watch this movie on a network that edits them out. And if the drinking is an issue, well, I dunno, fast forward or something.

Speaking of the drunk coach, The Boy’s favorite scene in this movie is probably the one when the coach really really really has to pee. A lot. For like five minutes. The Boy almost peed himself laughing.

And there you have it, another non-cartoon movie for your kids, and one that has strong female characters that even The Boy can get into. I hope you enjoy it!