Fever Pitch (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Fever Pitch (1997)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Fever Pitch Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Paul is in his mid-'30s and works as an English teacher in a state-sponsored North London school. When not teaching, his life revolves around Arsenal, a local professional football team. Paul's love of soccer far exceeds the normal extremes of rabid fandom and his life mirrors the ups and downs of the team, which hasn't won a league cup in 18 years. His small, aimless world is shaken off its axis when he meets and begins a relationship with the dour Sarah, a hard working, goal-obsessed colleague who struggles to free him from his addiction to soccer. Very loosely based on an autobiographical book by British author Nick Hornby, this comedy follows Paul and Sarah on a romantic roller coaster ride that runs parallel to the shifting fortunes of the Arsenal.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language)
Genre: Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Nick Hornby
On DVD: Nov 28, 2000

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Colin Firth
as Paul Ashworth
Bea Guard
as Paul's Sister
Neil Pearson
as Paul's Dad
Ruth Gemmell
as Sarah Hughes
Luke Aikman
as Young Paul
Ken Stott
as Ted Thickbroom
Stephen Rea
as Ray, the Governor
Annette Ekblom
as Robert's Mum
Philip Bond
as Turnstile Operator
Jackie Hyffes
as Pupil's Parent
Joe Reddington
as Pupil's Parent
Graham Cull
as Mr. Johnson
Mike Ingham
as Radio Sports Comment...
Leigh Funnelle
as Woman at Reading
David Hounslow
as Man at Reading
Simon Bowen
as Hillsborough Man
Silas Carson
as Indian Waiter
Geoffrey Drew
as House Owner
Liam Stapleton
as Second Governor
Tony Longhurst
as Taxi Driver
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Fever Pitch

Critic Reviews for Fever Pitch

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (5)

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

April 4, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Full Review… | December 10, 2002
New York Times
Top Critic

warm and engaging

April 29, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

Audience Reviews for Fever Pitch

For those who aren't aware of this, either because they haven't seen it or because they viewed the American version of Fever Pitch (known as The Perfect Catch) in the UK which was a film based on Nick Hornby's autobiography, Fever Pitch, this is the original film version of the book.

At the start of the film, Paul Ashworth is an English teacher at a London high school with a passion for only one thing in life, football (soccer)... specifically Arsenal FC. His life revolves around the English football season from August to May with a brief respite, interrupted only with the arrival of the next season's fixture list.

Upsetting his well ordered "apple cart" is the arrival of supply teacher Sarah Hughes who, after some initial sniping because she doesn't see the point of football, starts a relationship beyond that of colleagues.

Throughout the film, you are guided through Paul's life alongside the backdrop of Arsenal's 1989 Championship winning season through issues such as the ups and downs of Paul and Sarah's relationship, Sarah's opinion of Paul's apparently "yobbish" behaviour and his lack of empathy with matters other than football, and other bumps in the road such as an unplanned pregnancy.

Colin Firth is brilliant as Paul. I know the phrase "shambling elegance" is often used, but in this role you believe this phrase all the way from his scruffy, curly hairstyle all the way to his Arsenal boxer shorts. His performance helps you believe that when everything is going alright with Arsenal, everything is alright with the world and when Arsenal are rubbish, so is Paul's life.

Ruth Gemmell matches Firth in a note perfect performance as Sarah. She embodies the role of a person who doesn't understand Paul's obsession with football and, at times, frankly doesn't care. Gemmell perfectly pitches the frustration to a level where you neither pick one character's side or the other.

The supporting cast is also of a high quality, most notably Mark Strong and Holly Aird as Paul and Sarah's respective friends, Neil Pearson as the younger Paul's father, Lorraine Ashbourne as Paul's mother and a great cameo by Stephen Rea as a member of Paul's disastrous promotion board panel.

The direction by David Evans makes for a vibrant film which allied with Nick Hornby's screenplay is a great portrait of obsession, not only for football but for anything, and in some ways is a life affirming film. The film is light hearted as opposed to comedic and is sensitive in issues such as the off-screen portrayal of the Hillsborough tragedy.

The soundtrack is also a winner mixing a score soundtrack by Boo Hewerdine and Neil MacColl with tracks of the time from artists such as The La's, Fine Young Cannibals, Van Morrison and Harry J All Stars.

If you're looking for a rom-com on this subject, I would recommend the American version of Fever Pitch (a film that I also like). However, if you're after a well paced, well produced comedy drama relationships, obsession and how life experiences can shape a person, give this film a try.

Theta Sigma
Theta Sigma

Super Reviewer

Thank God I didn't see that garbage American version of this film. This is the real dead involving Arsenal my favourite football club. Perhaps the passion for a team is over played but I can understand that passion...not to get in the way of a relationship however :)

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

This is a classic & romantic story by Nick Hornby. Its about a teacher who is obsessed with football and when he falls in love with this woman, he believes that he can keep his obsession during this relationship without any conflicts. This is a charming story about love and sacrifices. I thought the acting was very good and believable. Definetely one to watch if you're in to romatic comedy movies.

Naughtia Nahazhina

Super Reviewer

Fever Pitch Quotes

– Submitted by Theta S (4 years ago)

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