Summer Catch

"OK"

Summer Catch Review


With the normally vapid, blank and bloodless Freddie Prinze, Jr. heading up the cast and a bikini-heavy ad campaign, the amateur baseball movie "Summer Catch" looked to be a brain-dead, college-age "Bull Durham" wannabe. So imagine my surprise to find it an amusing and likable -- if shallow and sometimes bumbling -- romanticized comedy about emerging ballplayers itching for their big-league chance.

The picture takes place during in the summer baseball season at Cape Cod, where college athletes from all over the country come to play for free and hopefully get discovered by major and minor league scouts. The on-the-diamond parts of the picture are poorly structured and dependent entirely on play-by-play narration that isn't backed up by the action on the screen. ("The big story so far is Ryan Dunne...," says the announcer. Oh yeah, why's that?)

The characters are stock and two-dimensional -- the party animal (Matthew Lillard), the flamboyant show-off rival (Corey Pearson) of the struggling-with-his-inner demons hometown hero (Prinze).

The magical baseball voice-overs and other philosophical dialogue are of the dime-store variety. "You want big rewards? You gotta take big risks," encourages the sexy, independent daughter (Jessica Biel) of the richest guy in town (Bruce Davidson) -- whose hackles are raised at the idea of his angel dating Prinze. You see, Prinze is their blue-collar-and-proud lawn boy when he's not throwing 95 mph fastballs.

But somehow the performances hold "Summer Catch" together in spite of it all.

For the first time in his career, Prinze ("Head Over Heels," "Boys and Girls," "She's All That") displays more than two facial expressions and exudes enough charm to appeal to someone over the age of 14. I genuinely liked his character, in spite of the fact that he's grossly underwritten. Aside from three or four weak pitches, we never actually see any sign of him struggling with those supposed inner demons.

He has good chemistry with Biel too. Their flirtation is sweet and zesty, and even though her character is just as stock as his, she fleshes the girl out very well -- and I'm not talking just about her bikinis and tight little halter tops.

The humor is cheap but funny (Prinze and Lillard each end up wearing nothing but a girl's thong in separate scenes). And most refreshing of all is the fact that director Mike Tollin (whose TV and producer credits are all sports-related) wisely dodges quite a few looming clichés. There's no climactic showdown between Prinze and the show-off. Prinze doesn't become alienated from his slacker local pals because he suddenly spends more time with his teammates. His dad's a drunk, but it's not used as a narrative crutch to add conflict to the story.

Occasionally, "Summer Catch" is even clever, like when Prinze and Biel get in a fight and she apologizes by coming over to mow his lawn.

This isn't really a good sports movie. It's only a mediocre romantic comedy. But as a matinee for the dog days of summer, I have to admit I liked it in spite of myself.



Summer Catch

Facts and Figures

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th August 2001

Box Office USA: $19.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $19.7M

Budget: $34M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Tollin/Robbins Productions, Warner Brothers

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 8%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 84

IMDB: 4.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr. as Ryan Dunne, as Tenley Parrish, as Sean Dunne, as Billy Brubaker, as John Schiffner, as Mike Dunne, as Dede Mulligan, as Rand Parrish, as Miles Dalrymple

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

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.