A League of Their Own Character Review: Doris Murphy

*The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the movie A League of Their Own. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the movie. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Every era has its own ideal of female beauty. Though the external images change, the expectations of how to be a “proper woman” remain the same. This, of course, does not include playing sports in either a formal or informal team. In A League of Their Own, Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell) is far from the idealized 1940’s pinup (unlike her best friend Mae Mordabito). A resident of New York City, Doris has a zaftig figure and speaks with a stereotypical NYC accent.

Joining the AAGBPL gives her the opportunity to feel like an insider. After spending years feeling like an outsider due to her physical appearance and her love of baseball, Doris has finally found her people. She also finds the confidence to believe that she is worthy of being loved and not forced to be with someone for the sake of being with someone.

But she also has a temper. When Kit Keller (Lori Petty) has an argument with her sister Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis), Doris makes a joke at Kit’s expense, which leads to a fight that changes the course of their relationship. Doris does not just talk the talk. She walks the walk. When pushed, she is not one to be messed with.

To sum it up: Then and now, seeing women who are not a size 2 is still revolutionary. In both the character and actor looking like the average woman, it allows those of us who are not modelesque to see themselves on screen.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

A League of Their Own Character Review: Mae Mordabito

*The schedule for the Character Review posts will be changing to Friday (or Saturday at the latest from now on).

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the movie A League of Their Own. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the movie. There is something to be said about a well-written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

There is and has been, for all of human history, a double-edged sword for female sexuality. We know that without it, life would not continue on. But, at the same time, it has been demonized (by men mostly) as the evil to end all evils. It has also been one of the only ways to be independent and earn a living in a world in which marriage is the only acceptable outcome.

In A League of Their Own, Mae Mordabito (Madonna) has up to this point, brought home the bacon by working at a gentleman’s club. Best friends with Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell), both have found a new opportunity via the AAGPBL. Known as “All The Way Mae” on the ballfield, she has an interesting duality. When not in uniform, she is known for not being without a date. Mae is also not heartless. She teaches a teammate to read via a romance novel. It’s not the most traditional way to learn, but it’s the thought that counts.

To sum it up: Then, as now, a woman’s use of her physical form as she wished to was a controversial topic. But Mae owns who she is and what she does. Like the actress who plays her, that is a subject that is still unfortunately timely and not without it’s detractors.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

P.S. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is at the roadhouse.

P.P.S. The theme song from the movie, This Used to be My Playground is one of my favorite songs of hers.

Throwback Thursday Part Two- A League of Their Own

Today it’s very common to see women and girls involved in sports, as both a professional and an amateur.

Women in sports, as part of normal American life, is a relatively new idea. Thanks to Title IX and the AAGBPL, women have been more prevalent and respected in sports.

In 1992, A League of Their Own, brought the story of the AAGBPL to the movie going audience.

Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and Kit Keller (Lori Petty) are sisters who play on local baseball teams in their spare time during World War II. With the men away, Walter Harvey (Gary Marshall) bankrolls a women’s baseball league. Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) is the former ball player chosen to coach the team that Dottie and Kit are playing with. Their teammates  include Mae Mordabito (Madonna), Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell) and Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh).

The drama of the story is  not just the women fighting for respect as ball players, but also the tension between the sisters.

After 22 years, this movie still holds up and is still an inspiration to girls who have been told no because they are girls.

I recommend this movie.

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