Screwball is a documentary in the form of a dramedy that investigates the biggest doping scandal to hit MLB since the Jose Canseco “juicing” scandal of 2005. This one involves MLB’s highest paid player (at the time), Alex Rodriguez.
In 2013, a huge scandal broke out that would change baseball forever. Several MLB players were accused of using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) with the biggest name being New York Yankee star Alex Rodriguez. A clinic called Biogenesis owned by Anthony Bosch, a self-proclaimed doctor was providing players with human growth hormones which are banned in a number of sports including baseball. Screwball lets those involved with the clinic tell their sides of the story.
“Several MLB players accused of using performance-enhancing drugs…the biggest name being New York Yankee star Alex Rodriguez.”
Screwball handles the story as Michael Jordan handles a fastball, goofy-looking but it’s still funny to watch. The documentary is told as a he said/(s)he said type of way where you get different sides of the story from those involved with the clinic but who doesn’t give their side of the story are all of the MLB players that were accused of using the PEDs from Biogenesis.
The most entertaining of the interviews provided come from Anthony Bosch and Porter Fischer. As explained earlier, Anthony Bosch was the owner of the clinic and a self-proclaimed doctor after going to a bogus “med” school. Bosch wanted to start a clinic for weight loss and ended up getting into the business of providing athletes with PEDs. Those PEDs actually came off of the streets. Bosch presents himself like an arrogant evil genius and know-it-all. This attitude would eventually come up back to bite him in the end as is revealed toward the end of the film.
When it comes to Porter Fischer, he is this beefed up tan-bodied guy, something like a Jersey Shore cast member. Fischer is the one that blew the whistle on this whole operation when he was owed four-thousand dollars by Bosch. He began seeing the kind of business Bosch was running and did a little snooping around. With his investigating, Fischer found notebooks filled with names of clients. Names like Bartolo Colon, Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and many more. This opened up a whole can of worms in the sports world.
“…gives the film a very comedic take rather than a straightforward unentertaining storytelling.“
Throughout the interviews there are dramatization scenes that take place that is done with children playing the adults involved in the scandal. This gives the film a very comedic take rather than a straightforward unentertaining storytelling. It’s a bit puzzling at first but once more of the story is revealed it fits perfectly with the tone. The music provided in the background is just as comical sounding.
Screwball is an entertaining way to bring a very serious scandal to light. There is a lot of information to take in such as the who is who and who said what, so it can be a lot to keep up with and it does move fast at times. Even though the scandal is serious, it is quite comical how everything came about, choosing to give this film a comedic tone was the right move. It may not be a game-winning home run but it definitely is an RBI.
Screwball (2019) Directed by Billy Corben. Starring Anthony (Tony) Bosch, Pedro Gomez, Jerome Hill, Porter Fischer.
7 out of 10