As a rule, "No crying in baseball" is a sound principle. But make an exception for The Perfect Game, a very sweet, very slight family movie that scores smiles and tears of joy.
In this incredible-but-true tale of the Mexican ballplayers who triumphed in the 1957 Little League World Series, director William Dear emphasizes team spirit and uplift. As with his 1994 remake of Angels in the Outfield, The Perfect Game is a story of answered prayers in the church of baseball.
Made with minimal resources and maximal heart, the unabashedly earnest film has a tremendous asset in its young stars and inspirational story. (It was previously told in the little-known 1960 Mexican documentary Los pequeños gigantes, Little Giants.) The cast of scrappers here is a pleasant surprise, if not quite as unexpected as the casting of Cheech Marin as Padre Esteban.