"Field of Dreams": A Three Hankie Dilemma

Trish VignolaContributor IDecember 29, 2009

This Christmas Eve, "Field of Dreams" was playing back to back with "Major League" on Versus.  You know that cable channel that only plays hockey?  Am I the only person who thought a relationship between the holiest day on the Christian calendar and Baseball was a little out of...Left Field?  Regardless, I'm a big fan of the movie.  Who isn't?  (If you aren't, I apologize.  You might want to have your Doctor check for a soul at your next check up.)  I'll even go as far as to say that "Field of Dreams" is one of those rare situations where the movie is better than the book. 

Now, being the well-established girl that I am, I weep like a baby without fail every time the movie is on.  But in reality, who doesn't?  (If you don't, you might want to have your doctor check on that out too.)  My tipping point is normally when Ray asks his dad to play catch.  Without fail, since I was eleven, I’ve cried like clockwork.  Watching this film is like running your hand over your mother's quilt or an old chair in your Grandmother's house.  You know every nook and cranny, but what happens when you find something new?

Right as Doc Graham is walking back into the Cornfield, Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) stops him and says, "You were good." It's a super quiet moment.  If you aren't looking for it, you might very well miss it.  However, it might be the most beautiful moment in film.  Graham finally achieves his dream, not of getting the at bat, but of getting validation that he was (or would have been) a good ball player. 

Graham is a tragic figure.  His true talents were in helping people, but by fostering those talents, he lost out on his dream.  He took the “right” path at life's crossroad, but it came with so much pain.  Yeesh, life can suck sometimes.  Suddenly, "Field of Dreams" took on a new meaning.  It's a story about fear, fear of time passing you by.  A little bit more of my childhood was deconstructed that night and I think adulthood might have got a little sadder.