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

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

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.