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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.