This story was certainly inspiring and touching. It starts with a coach (called "Murph", or Mr. Murphy) for a little league team with the worst name of all time, the River Rats, trying to find some real talented players for the already-started baseball season. His car gets stuck in a muddy ditch near a farm, where he comes across a really talented teen with a powerful throwing arm. It turns out the kid, named Mickey, is high-functioning autistic, being born with Asperger's Syndrome. This made his father super protective of him and, when first asked by Murph, was hesitant to allow his son to try out for the River Rats. But with enough convincing of his son's natural talent, the dad lets Mickey try out for the team.
Of course, there are a lot of cheesy montage moments, but I'm glad the film didn't focus on Mickey's failures. He actually did a great job whenever he was on the pitcher's mound for a game. What the film did that I might not have liked was give us a villain, a jealous teammate who didn't like being sidelined while Mickey stole the spotlight. This helped to unite the team and support Mickey, but still, why did this story need a villain? Being autistic in a loud, demanding sport like baseball should have been the focus of the story itself, but there wasn't any real obstacle other than the jealous teammate.
The other things I found a bit weird was Mickey's dad and (No spoilers!) the resolution of the entire rising action. For a story, you need a climax and a resolution, but for a realistic look on a boy with autism in our fast-paced world, everything seemed to work out perfectly in the end for a Disney-esque feel-good ending. And Mickey's dad was so overly critical and harsh, to the point of being such an obstacle in himself. But if he were to be the main obstacle, then fine. But why have an over-bearing father and a villain both be part of the rising action? Just choose one and expand on it.
I was glad that the film included religion. If this was Disney, you know they'd shy away from it like it was a monster. But the film understood the importance and significance of religion in the lives of real people. For that, this film an its message certainly gives it a good rating on my part. If you want a clean, feel-good film about sports and an underdog, then watch this film. I was lucky enough to discover it on Netflix. I hope you guys can catch it there too before it gets removed in the future. If you are looking for a gritty, realistic story, then perhaps this story is not for you. But maybe the book is.