Every now and then, I'll come across some list of the greatest baseball movies of all-time, and almost invariably, "Field of Dreams" makes the cut.
The preoccupation with this frustrating film confounds me. I usually appreciate a paean toward the great game, and I understand the connective qualities the movie seeks to celebrate and the emotional strings it attempts to strum. I also get that sometimes, when you step into the theater, you must suspend your sense of reality.
But the reduction of rationality this movie requires goes beyond what I'm willing to offer. God, ignoring all the other troubles of the world, bends the laws of time and space just so some Iowa farmer can "have a catch" with his dead dad? (Who actually says "have a catch" anyway? Isn't it "play catch"?) People willingly plunk down $20 to see a ballgame played by ghosts? (Shouldn't they be putting that money toward psychiatrists?) "Shoeless" Joe Jackson bats from the right-hand side of the plate?
No, no. It's all too much for me to stomach. I'm sorry, list-makers and Kevin Costner apologists, but "Field of Dreams" is terrible.
The Field of Dreams, on the other hand, I like quite a bit.
I'm talking about the Dyersville, Iowa, farm where the movie was filmed in 1988. For years now, it has operated as a tourist site, enticing those who cherish baseball's simplest qualities to take a journey off Interstate 80 and into the country's core.