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Bad Catch

Don't place any bets on the success of this summer's baseball movie, Summer Catch. It's boring, it's brainless and it's all been done before.

Strike one is the formulaic plot line--a poor-boy-meets-rich-girl romance that even TV psychics could call. Strike two is the shoddy dialogue and shallow characters. But the big reason Summer Catch really strikes out is its disappointment factor: This could have been a great movie.

Freddie Prinze Jr., so promising in She's All That and The House of Yes, stars as Ryan, a totally dull baseball player yearning to make it big. He's sappier than a maple tree, and it stinks. Seventh Heaven star Jessica Biel is equally conventional as Tenley, a spunky but spoiled girl vacationing in Ryan's hometown.

Even Brittany Murphy, the usually-amazing actress seen in Girl, Interrupted, is reduced to a formulaic fake-blonde (though it must be noted, pouring a bottle of beer from between one's legs is a notable accomplishment for any up-and-coming actress). Besides being a total waste of time, Summer Catch once more demonstrates that the real American pastime isn't baseball--it's mindless entertainment.

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