Fever Pitch (2005)
Directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly
Based on the novel by Nick Hornby
Screenplay by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon
Ben (Fallon) has been a fan of the Boston Red Sox since he was eight years old. As an adult he inherited his uncle’s season tickets and has never missed a game since. During the off-season Ben meets Lindsey (Barrymore) and falls for her. When Spring comes, along with baseball, Lindsey soon finds out that Ben isn’t who she thought he was. His obsession with the team soon becomes a major obstacle as they try to keep their relationship going.
In the world of baseball movies there are very few romantic comedies. (I actually can’t think of any besides this film.) This one didn’t even originate as a baseball film. Initially, Nick Hornby’s (About a Boy) novel was about an obsessed soccer fan, and a film based on that story was made in 1997. For this adaptation screenwriters Lowell Ganz (A League of Their Own) and Babaloo Mandel (Forget Paris) took it from the soccer pitch to the baseball diamond. The Farrelly brothers, Bobby (Shallow Hal) and Peter (Kingpin) directed this movie, which stars Jimmy Fallon (Almost Famous) and Drew Barrymore (E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial).
This is a nicely written romantic comedy that still shows a lot of the humor that I love about Nick Hornby’s books. The screenwriters did a great job translating the situations and taking advantage of the intense love Red Sox fans have for their team. Additionally, the film was aided by the magical run the Red Sox made in 2004, which was a nice back story for the film to play on. The writing and the acting go nicely together in this one as well. Thankfully they gave Fallon a role that was built for him. Alongside Barrymore, the chemistry was great and the screenplay allowed them to fit into character comfortably.
This is a fun baseball movie and a nice romantic comedy built into one movie. The technical aspects are all executed nicely, and leave little to criticize. This isn’t a movie that will keep you guessing. Despite this relatively predictable story the movie works for all the right reasons. It’s a fun family movie that captures the extreme fans in major league baseball. If you’re a fan of romantic comedies or baseball movies this is one you should see. I would also recommend this to fans of the stars. I give this one 3.6 out of 5 stars.
Harmless. That doesn’t make it bad or good, just something that’s not a hard watch one bit. Good review Jeff.
Harmless is a great way to put it. The same can be true of most of Barrymore’s work, and certainly all of Fallon’s. Thanks for reading!
Pretty good rom-com when most of them since 2000 or so are very lacking. I’ve been curious to check out the original UK film from 1997 with Colin Firth that is football/soccer related. (I love how the title could work for both versions).
The title is a fun link between the two films. I think you’re right about rom-coms. I’ve been pretty underwhelmed with most of them for some time now.