“BEER LEAGUE”— Play Ball!!

“Beer League”

Play Ball! 

Amos Lassen

Rarely will I stop watching a film because it is so bad that I can’t watch it. That almost happened here but I decided to stick it out. “Beer League” is just that bad. Artie Lange who directed this film obviously made an autobiographical film in which he stars. This is just a depressing look at loser culture in New Jersey. The film is totally unrealistic, the plot is weak, the acting is really bad and the production values are nil. There are a few funny lines but they are almost lost in the poor dialogue

Artie Lange is the star and he is also responsible for the script. Lange is a veteran of for the most part of bad movies that are supposed to be funny. He is a real human being who seems to genuinely care about people and that could be the reason that this movie is so awful,. The plot is about a group of nice guys who are not very good softball players in a local New Jersey softball league. Of course, there is one team that always beats them that is led by a pompous abhorrent guy named Dennis Mangenelli (Anthony DeSando). Artie and Dennis have known each other since childhood and Dennis is more successful and gets better looking girls etc. In short, he is what Artie wants to be.

Artie lives at home with his mother, played by Laurie Metcalfe who is a good actress but somehow became involved in this film. Her character is off the charts over the top, almost a caricature. Artie’s best friend on his team is Maz (Ralph Macchio).  Artie’s girlfriend Linda (Cara Buono) does an okay job in her role, which means she is a top performer here.

The film is perfectly bad and does not have a bit of social, entertainment or even curiosity value. But it does however have  one small redeeming attribute in that it answers “Whatever happened to Edgar Stiles (Louis Lombardi)?” Stiles was killed off of the television show “24” and never heard of again until “Beer League” in which he appears briefly as a police chief.

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