'Game 6' is a rainout

The New York TimesMarch 17, 2006 

If it wasn't evident 16 months ago that the Curse of the Bambino plotline died with the curse itself, it's certainly evident now with the release of "Game 6," a tale of one man's meltdown that ought to have an expiration date of Oct. 27, 2004, stamped on every frame.

That, of course, was the day the Boston Red Sox finally ended their much-moaned-about futility and won the World Series. The victory caused virtually the entire world to say, "All right, now will you whiny Sox fans shut up?"

But the novelist Don DeLillo still had a script lying around pegged to the whole loser-angst thing -- the project has been in the works since at least 1997, according to press materials -- and now it has made it to the screen, DeLillo's first screenplay to do so.

You can tell the literary genes by the doses of stylized semi-fantasy; it probably seemed a lot cooler on the page.

Michael Keaton is Nicky Rogan, a Red Sox fan living in New York who is also a playwright hoping his new work revives his career. It is opening night for the play -- Oct. 25, 1986, a date burned into the memories of both Red Sox and Mets fans. Yes, that's right, it was the ball-through-Bill-Buckner's-legs game.

As Nicky ricochets through the portent-laden day toward curtain and game time, we meet his mistress (Bebe Neuwirth), his daughter (Ari Graynor), his playwriting pal (Griffin Dunne) and a bunch of foreign cabdrivers stuck in traffic. Looming over it all is a fearsome theater critic (Robert Downey Jr.).

As things drag on, you can ask yourself: Which seems longer ago, the days when anyone cared about whether the Red Sox would ever win the series, or the days when a lone theater critic had the clout to terrify Broadway?

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