If Jerry Maguire and Slumdog Millionaire gave birth to an impossibly cute love child, it would look something like Million Dollar Arm.
Based on an incredible true story, Craig Gillespie’s unapologetically feel-good sports drama follows a down-on-his-luck agent, who attempts to introduce baseball to India via an outlandish rags-to-riches competition.
Screenwriter Tom McCarthy fashions an armful of well-worn cliches into an irresistibly sweet and charming tale of triumph against adversity that scores a home run when it matters.
Key to the film’s appeal is handsome leading man Jon Hamm, who swaps the tailored suits of Mad Men for more casual attire as he travels around south Asia, searching for diamonds in the rough to an evocative soundtrack composed by AR Rahman.
Familiarity breeds delight in Gillespie’s film, relying on a strong ensemble cast to milk laughter and tears when it seems the script will strike out.
The romantic subplot follows the same trajectory as the rest of the film, but we’re powerless to resist each predictable beat of the characters’ hearts.