A captivating yet inconsistent examination of a remarkable film and the extraordinary female filmmaker behind it.

By Erin Carlson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 5, 2023

A behind-the-scenes look at the hit movie A League of Their Own and the life of its director, Penny Marshall, is provided by entertainment journalist Carlson in his book I’ll Have What She’s Having and Queen Meryl. The movie, which chronicled the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, an all-women’s league of white baseball players that lasted from 1943 to 1954, became an instant classic and the most financially lucrative baseball movie of all time. However, the original cast was different, with Debra Winger in Geena Davis’ role and Jim Belushi in Tom Hanks’ role, and the plot was more complex, including an illicit kiss between Hanks and Davis. This scene was cut from the 2 million feet of film Marshall shot. The book is more of a biography than a history of the film, and the sections about the movie are more like trivia than a narrative. The author’s playful tone and narratorial asides make this a charming read. Marshall’s childhood in the Bronx and her 2018 death from “complications related to diabetes” are also discussed. The movie, which was Marshall’s pinnacle, was a mere footnote in the Tom Hanks film library, even as it eclipsed her stardom.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023
ISBN: 9780306830181

Page Count: 320
Publisher: Hachette

Review Posted Online: yesterday
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023