Fever Pitch (2005)

"Very Good"

Fever Pitch (2005) Review


You'll have to forgive my small bias for this Farrelly Brothers boy-meets-girl-but-loves-baseball-team charmer. As an 18-year resident of Boston, the movie's ever-present backdrop, I hooked onto this breezy romantic comedy like an eager fish.

It's not like I'm devoted to our beloved Red Sox as obsessively as Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon, in all his awkward glory). When Ben, a high-energy math teacher meets Lindsey, Drew Barrymore's on-the-rise executive, it's wintertime and Ben is, well, different. Because each April, Ben's only love is 26 guys, a ballpark, and a dream... the world of the Boston Red Sox.

As time goes by, Ben's heart belongs to Lindsey -- and with Barrymore's earthy, sweet, unending charm, who wouldn't? -- but his years of devotion are with the Sox, dating back to his crusty uncle (local boy Lenny Clarke) taking him to his first game. So compromise and understanding might get the couple through the All-Star Break, but will it take them past the Fall Classic?

As most folks know, the 2004 Red Sox playoff run (the film takes place last year) had enough heartbreak, suspense, and elation to fit perfectly into a will-they-or-won't-they romance. Almost too perfectly. You'd think veteran screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (Parenthood) made a deal with a higher power previously unavailable to decades of New England baseball fans.

Well, beyond a clichéd intro and some minor gaps here and there, it all works pretty darned well. Just as a diehard sports fan might enjoy re-watching an event whose outcome is already known, those who like even the occasional love story will appreciate the path of this one, even when the result follows format.

The Farrellys, leaving behind one-note concept comedies like Shallow Hal and Stuck on You for this Nick Hornby adaptation (a remake of a soccer-oriented film), make a smooth transition to content that requires a deeper heart and wider range of emotion. Part of Fever Pitch's charm is in knowing that when Ben and Lindsey share a particularly sweet moment in bed, it's touching not because of the acting or writing, but because the Farrellys have developed enough substance for us to feel that this couple really means something.

The brothers' trademark humor is still there -- it just makes cameo appearances instead of big, lead-role flourishes. Also making cameos are a string of Boston locals, ranging from Red Sox brass to hometown broadcasters, another Farrelly Brothers trademark that their New England fans appreciate, and one that adds a smidgen of authenticity. Whether you know the participants or not, it is kind of heartwarming to know that these two schnooks from Rhode Island still put their buddies in their movies.

I imagine that Fever Pitch will work on different levels for different moviegoers. If you like straight-ahead, date-movie romance, it's a winner. Not as snappy as, say, Hitch, but warmer and more sincere. If you're a baseball fan, Fever Pitch conveys that aura of a summer night at the ballpark -- made even better by newfound love. And if you're a Red Sox fan? Man, you're in heaven.

It's not a tumor!



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.