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Review: Romantic drama 'Brampton's Own' is a swing and a miss

Review: Romantic drama 'Brampton's Own' is a swing and a miss
Alex Russell and Rosie McIver in the movie "Brampton's Own." (Dark Star Pictures)

Like its baseball bat-wielding hero, “Brampton’s Own” is stuck in the minor leagues. It’s better than a number of indie films in its craft — particularly the thoughtfully composed cinematography from Kieran Murphy — but a flawed script ultimately keeps it from eking out a win.

Dustin (Alex Russell) has been toiling away at Triple-A Tacoma for over a decade, hoping for a bump up to the Seattle Mariners and the MLB. When yet another season passes without him getting called up to the majors, he heads back east to his childhood home in Brampton. He stays with his mother (Jean Smart), taking over his old bedroom and trying to pick up where he left off with childhood sweetheart, Rachel (Rose McIver). But Dustin’s dedication to his sport has meant little time for friends and family, and he struggles to find a place in his hometown.

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Writer-director Michael Doneger’s screenplay has moments of quick-witted banter that likely reveal him as an Aaron Sorkin fan, but the dialogue doesn’t remain at this level throughout the film. It also never fully commits to its own central theme of the personal sacrifices people make in pursuit of their dreams, particularly in their relationships. Ultimately, its coda undermines the previous 85 minutes, making for a ninth-inning error that “Brampton’s Own” can’t overcome.

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‘Brampton’s Own’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

Playing: Starting Friday, Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena; also on VOD

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