The Slugger's Wife
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|The Slugger's Wife|
|Directed by||Hal Ashby|
|Produced by||Ray Stark|
|Written by||Neil Simon|
Rebecca De Mornay
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||March 29, 1985|
|Running time||105 min.|
The Slugger's Wife is a 1985 romantic comedy film about a baseball star who falls for a singer. Written by Neil Simon, directed by Hal Ashby and produced by Ray Stark, the film stars Michael O'Keefe, Rebecca De Mornay and Randy Quaid. It was distributed by Columbia Pictures and released on March 29, 1985.
Darryl Palmer is a baseball player for the Atlanta Braves. He enjoys the fame and fringe benefits of bachelor life until he meets rock singer Debby Huston, falls in love and decides to settle down.
Debby isn't ready to put her professional hopes on hold. But from the moment Darryl meets her, his own career takes off. He begins a full assault on baseball's single-season home run record of 61 (at that time) and considers Debby a good-luck charm, wanting her to be there at his games.
Manager Burly DeVito appreciates that Darryl has found a settling influence in his life, but teammates Moose Granger and Manny Alvarado become increasingly aware of how obsessed Darryl is with Debby and how unhappy she has become. She feels smothered by her husband, who interferes with her career ambitions and goes into a jealous funk whenever she goes on the road.
The happy couple breaks up, to the detriment of Darryl's game and his pursuit of one of baseball's greatest feats. He begins to fail on a regular basis and the team's playoff chances could be in jeopardy. Burly and his players concoct a plan to have another woman, hidden by shadows, pretend to be Darryl's wife, telling him everything he wants to hear. It works temporarily, then backfires.
Debby comes back to try to work things out. Darryl does indeed hit his record-breaking home run, but it remains uncertain whether the couple's relationship can ever be what it once was.
- Michael O'Keefe as Darryl Palmer
- Rebecca De Mornay as Debby Huston
- Randy Quaid as Moose Granger
- Cleavant Derricks as Manny Alvarado
- Martin Ritt as Burly DeVito
- Lisa Langlois as Aline Cooper
- Loudon Wainwright III as Gary
- Georgann Johnson as Marie DeVito
- Danny Tucker as Coach O'Brien
- Lynn Whitfield as Tina Alvarado
The Slugger's Wife was a total critical and commercial failure. The film has a 0% favorable rating on the Rotten Tomatoes web site. A New York Times review of March 28, 1985 written by Janet Maslin began: "It's a shock to find Neil Simon's name attached to something as resoundingly unfunny as this." The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song for the song Oh, Jimmy!.
According to the web site AllMovie.com, the film earned $1,300,000 in box-office receipts.