Fever Pitch Review

by Steve Rhodes (Steve DOT Rhodes AT InternetReviews DOT com)
April 26th, 2005

A film review by Steve Rhodes

Copyright 2005 Steve Rhodes

RATING (0 TO ****): ** 1/2

FEVER PITCH, a romantic comedy about a pair of lovers with different obsessions, stars a never prettier Drew Barrymore and a rarely nerdier Jimmy Fallon. Barrymore plays Lindsay, a charming but not especially convincing workaholic, who is said to work ninety hours a week but seems to have ample spare time.

Much more convincing is Fallon as Ben, a forty-year-old Peter Pan figure who is idolized by his ninth grade honors geometry students and a man who, since the age of seven, has worshiped at the Fenway Park altar of the Boston Red Sox. Lindsay hits the nail on the head when she says that Ben's apartment looks exactly like a Red Sox gift shop. From spring training to the last inning of the season, Ben and his buddies live their lives around the Red Sox schedule. As a member of Ben's "summer family" -- nearby season ticket holders -- puts it perfectly, "relationships come and go, but the Red Sox are forever."

FEVER PITCH, based on a novel by Nick Hornby novel (HIGH FIDELITY and ABOUT A BOY), concerns the trial and tribulations of Ben and Lindsay, as they have to compromise in order to keep their relationship going. Hornby's book, upon which the movie is based, set the action in England with the sport being soccer. Fallon was fairly convincing but never particularly likable or compelling, and, if there was ever any real chemistry between Fallon and Barrymore, I didn't notice it.

Still, I laughed frequently, and the movie is cute, even if not especially memorable. It is definitely better than its first reel, which is pure sitcom. But, being a big fan of Hornby's work, I left more frustrated than satisfied. Directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly (STUCK ON YOU) made a fairly likeable movie, but, given their source material, it should have been an easy home run. Instead they scored on a walk.

FEVER PITCH runs 1:41. It is rated PG-13 for "crude and sexual humor, and some sensuality" and would be acceptable for kids around 9 and up.

The film opens nationwide in the United States on Friday, April 8, 2005. In the Silicon Valley, it will be showing at the AMC theaters, the Century theaters and the Camera Cinemas.

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