April 14, 2005

Amateur Movie Review: Fever Pitch

I knew going this wasn’t a baseball movie, it was a date movie. A date movie that I, honestly, didn’t get my hopes up for. Fever Pitch is the Farrelly Bros-helmed remake of an English movie which is in turn based on Nick Hornby’s book about being an obsessive Arsenal fan. While I’m a Hornby fan, I haven’t read Fever Pitch, as European football is arcane enough to make my head hurt.

This Americanized version stars Jimmy Fallon as Ben the Teacher, a nice, normal guy who just happens to be an obsessive Boston Red Sox fan. He meets cute with Drew Barrymore’s Lindsey, a… well; she’s something to do with math and corporate efficiency, though what is never explained. They quickly and adorably fall in love, until he has to explain his obsession with the Red Sox. Hijinks ensue, they break up for a time until –shockingly- everything works out at the end.

Date-movie romantic comedies aren’t known for being brainy or difficult and this movie is no exception. It’s short and sweet and has enough very funny bits to be remembered, if not particularly memorable. It’s certainly softer than other Hornby adaptations, and lacks the bite and depth of High Fidelity and the excellent About a Boy. For the most part Fallon and Barrymore have a nice, bubbly chemistry; though they can be so adorable and cute you’re liable to go into diabetic shock.

The biggest problem with the movie is the ending. It seems thrown-together and slapdash. It is. The script had counted on the Sox failing yet again, and had to be completely rewritten to include Boston’s amazing run to the World Series championship. Sox fans, while some agree with Bill Simmons and loathe this movie, should enjoy the ballpark scenes. The Farrellys, New England boys themselves, obviously love Fenway Park and the Sox as much as Ben does.

Fever Pitch is a sweet, engaging movie, and well worth seeing.

Posted by Frinklin at April 14, 2005 08:29 PM

Read the book Fever Pitch. The movie made way too much of the love interest. The book is great and I didn't know much about soccer at the time I read it. Hornby's book does a great job of capturing the aches and pain of suffering as a sports fan. The women in it are only incidental.

Posted by: John at April 15, 2005 04:54 AM
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