The Bottom Line: A fun and charming romantic comedy.
Spring is the time of year when past failures of the fall are forgotten by most baseball fans. While hope springs eternal every spring for most fans, Boston Red Sox fans have long had a love/hate relationship with their team. This is large part to the Red Sox ongoing and often bizarre ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for year after year, decade after decade, causing fans to claim that the team has been cursed ever since they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees back in 1918 since they have failed to win a championship since.
That is until the magical season of 2005 where lifetimes of tears and frustrations were cleansed by an improbable and historic comeback from a three games to none series deficit to the Yankees, and a four game sweep of the St Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
In the new romantic comedy Fever Pitch two worlds are about to collide in a fury of romance and humor when workaholic Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), meets and starts to date a school teacher named Ben (Jimmy Fallon). Though their first date is hampered by a bad virus, Lindsey is taken by Bens gentle and compassionate nature as he is very kind, loving and attentive.
As the two become closer over the winter, Ben asks Lindsey to attend opening day at Fenway with him as a sign of his love and commitment to her. Knowing Bens passion for the game, Lindsey accepts but soon finds out, that Ben is fanatical about his love of the Sox and that every aspect of his life has to be scheduled around their games. While this is at first a minor issue, as time goes on it becomes a bigger problem when Ben refuses to take trips or attend parties and functions that interfere with games.
Naturally this soon wears very thin for Lindsey as she begins to question how committed Ben is to her and their future. The humor in the film arises from watching the very kind and lovable Ben become a different person when he is watching his beloved Sox. Rather then painting Ben as an oddball, the story does show why he has such an extreme devotion to the team, as well as how the people around him react to his devotion. His male friends simply accept it as they are rabid fans themselves, while we learn that every woman in his past has had an issue with his love of the Sox.
What really makes the film shine is the solid work by the two leads, as Barrymore has a charm and grace to her that lets Lindsey come off as a very lovable and compassionate lady rather than a selfish shrew who craves attention. Fallon meanwhile is good showing the duality of his life as well as the division he has between wanting to be with Lindsey and his lifelong devotion to the Sox.
The film moves at a steady pace and has more than enough humor to make you leave the theater with a smile, even if you are not a baseball fan. While some may say the plot is a bit shallow and formulistic, the film wisely puts the attention on the two leads and not on the sports action which results in a very winning combo.
The only material the Farrelly brothers culled from Nick Hornby's classic book was the title. I suspect the inspiration process didn't go anywhere beyond reading the title of the book. Even the plot summary contains the words "soccer" and "Arsenal FC." The Farrellys definitely missed that. Okay, maybe that's a little bit too harsh: The main character, Ben, finds solace in the Boston Red Sox upon his parents' divorce, and there is a scene in which Ben gets disappointed when his girlfriend, Lindsay, … more
I've seen almost all of the Farrelly brothers' films and I have to say that "Fever Pitch" falls shorter than all of them. But don't get me wrong, "Fever Pitch" is sufficient as a feel good, silly romance/comedy. It drew quite a few laughs from me while I was watching it. I watched it alone because my wife thought it would be "just another baseball movie." It isn't just another baseball movie, however, it leans more toward the romantic side of comedy. The story revolves around … more
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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The Farrelly brothers continue their good-natured winning streak withFever Pitch, a romantic comedy charmed by fate and last-minute improvisation. The movie was originally written with a bittersweet ending, but something unexpected happened (kismet, or perhaps divine intervention?) when the Boston Red Sox scored miraculous victories in the 2004 playoffs and World Series, and Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon were there, in character, to celebrate love and baseball as a pair of amiable lovers who learn to share their lives while accommodating Fallon's life-long passion for the Red Sox. You really have to love baseball to forgive the formulaic romance by veteran Hollywood screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (who also wroteA League of Their Own, and could write this stuff in their sleep), but the codirecting Farrellys make it work, along with the easygoing chemistry of Barrymore and Fallon. The movie bears little resemblance to Nick Hornby's source novel (which was more faithfully adapted as a1997 British comedystarring Colin Firth), but anyone who enjoyedHigh FidelityorAbout a Boywill recognize Hornby's keen understanding of men and women, and the hazards we all endure when playing the game of love.--Jeff Shannon