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Fever Pitch (1997)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 10,150

My Rating

Movie Info

A football fan tries to reconcile his obsessive love of the game with his job, his romantic relationships, and his life in general in this comedy/drama. Since he was a child in North London, Paul Ashworth (Colin Firth) has been a loyal fan of the Arsenal football team; he attended many a match with his father as a child, especially after his parents divorced, and Arsenal's annual season is one of the few emotional anchors in his life. Now in his mid-30s, Paul teaches English at a state-run


Art House & International, Comedy

Nick Hornby

Nov 28, 2000


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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (7) | DVD (7)

warm and engaging

April 29, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

[T]ouchingly awkward and emotionally genuine...

April 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

'Balls' of Fun!.....Firth at his funniest, and finest

March 24, 2005

To the credit of Hornby and director David Evans, they hedge on the issue of how unhealthy extreme soccer fandom may or may not be.

April 7, 2004
New Times

Um filme tão simpático que, confesso, me transformou em um fã do Arsenal. É preciso dizer mais alguma coisa?

December 8, 2003
Cinema em Cena

With soccer substituting for rock music, novelist/screenwriter Nick Hornby's FEVER PITCH plays like a rough draft of HIGH FIDELITY...a very rough draft.

November 26, 2003

Although significantly flawed, the final result for Fever Pitch is pleasant.

December 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

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.
January 17, 2011
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 :)
January 5, 2010
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.
January 23, 2011
Naughtia Nahazhina

Super Reviewer

Great romantic comedy involving a man, a woman and Arsenal. The reason this film succeeds is in showing both sides. So we see how sad it is to become obsessed with something and for that to run and influence your entire life, but it also then shows how magical it can be to get behind a team and to be there when they overcome the odds and win.
March 21, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Paul Ashworth: Leave it up to Arsenal to score one goal when they need two.
    2. Steve: You want them to score the second goal before they score the first?
    – Submitted by Theta S (3 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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