Bull Durham is about minor league baseball. It's also about romance, sex, poetry, metaphysics, and talent--though not necessarily in that order. Susan Sarandon plays a loopy lady who just loves America's national pastime--and the men who play it. At the opening of every season, she attaches herself to a promising rookie and guides him through the season. Unfortunately, the player she bestows her favors upon does not really deserve it. She knows it, and veteran Kevin Costner knows it. Her choice, a dim bulb played for laughs by Tim Robbins, is the only one who doesn't know it. The film, directed by its writer, Ron Shelton, a former minor league player, is rich in subtle detail. There are Edith Piaf records playing in the background, fast-talking managers, and minor characters as developed as the leads. Sarandon's retro-'50s outfits make you think she's just another bimbo, not an English teacher very much in control of her life. And Costner's clear-eyed, slightly vitriolic performance is devastatingly sexy and keenly witty. The love scenes, though tasteful, are almost as humorous as they are hot. Sarandon's character likes to tie her players up and expand their horizons by reading Walt Whitman to them, "'cause a guy will listen to anything if he thinks it's foreplay." How can you not love a movie with such a wicked sense of humor?
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