Intramural baseball is given its suitably torturous due in Undrafted, which vainly tries to generate humor from a ragtag team’s afternoon of throwing profane tantrums, getting into fistfights, arguing about the best Backstreet Boys member, and moping about not getting selected to play for a Major League club.
That last thread concerns John Mazetti (Aaron Tveit), who misses out on being drafted for the big leagues on the eve of his squad’s semifinal playoff game — a storyline inspired by the unfortunate fate of writer-director Joseph Mazzello’s own aspiring-ballplayer brother. While it’s touching that Mazzello has seen fit to celebrate his sibling’s tenacious love of the national pastime, there’s no escaping the fact that the dugout-and-diamond shenanigans are consistently tedious.
Focusing on players who’ve each been bestowed with a lone personality trait — including Everybody Wants Some!!‘s Tyler Hoechlin — and who are pitted against obnoxious adversaries with a penchant for indulging in cheerleader-style chants, Undrafted stretches out its seven-inning amateur contest with all manner of inert incidents, including a late brawl that involves the police.
With characters who range from mildly aggravating to out-and-out intolerable, and revolving around a game whose outcome is of no meaningful consequence, this underdogs-make-good fairy tale is a dramatic and comic rainout.
Directed by Joseph Mazzello
Opens July 15, Cinema Village and Pelham Picture House