Fever Pitch Reviews
Being a Red Sox fan since early '86 made this one even that much more enjoyable.
Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon) is a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, which is still under the Curse of the Bambino, having not won a World Series since 1916. Ben's love for the sport and the team borders on addiction. He lives in an apartment that looks more like a Red Sox gift shop. One day, Ben scores a new girlfriend in the form of businesswoman Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), who's reaching 30 and is tired of dating sharp, competitive guys. And thus begins a love triangle between Ben, Lindsey, and the Red Sox, where Ben must choose between the girl he loves and the team he's worshipped since he was a child.
Well, would you look at that? A romantic comedy that's well-acted, well-written, and is both funny and sweet. Very rarely do we see a good rom-com these days. If you're looking a genuinely good rom-com, then this movie fits your bill. Fever Pitch is based on an autobiographical novel by High Fidelity author Nick Hornby. The novel was also adapted into a 1997 film of the same name written by Hornby and starring Colin Firth and Mark Strong. I haven't read the novel. I think I saw the 1997 film, but I don't remember it quite well. This is the American remake of the 1997 film, and I really liked it.
I have to praise the performances from Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. They were both great in this film, as were the supporting actors. Not only are Fallon's and Barrymore's characters well-developed, likeable, and believable, but the two have fantastic romantic chemistry. When I look at them, I don't see two actors portraying people who fall in love. I actually see two real people in a romantic relationship. They don't just kiss all the time. They actually talk about things real couples talk about, and in a way real couples should.
Fever Pitch manages to be the Farrelly brothers' most mature and serious film while still maintaining some of their trademark humor. As a matter of fact, there's only one gross-out gag in the whole film. On their first date, Ben finds Lindsey sick from food poisoning, and we hear her throwing up in her bathroom. Not only that, but it's implied through a line of dialogue that Lindsey's dog actually ate some of her puke. Yeah, I know, pretty disgusting shit. However, this scene isn't really played for laughs as much as it really shows how kind and thoughtful Ben is (well, before his die-hard Red Sox fanboyism kicks in).
Ben also takes care of her when she's sick. For example, he undresses her and then helps her put on pajamas, helps her to bed, places a hamper near her in case she needs to vomit again, cleans up her bathroom, offers her Gatorade (gotta replenish those electrolytes somehow), brushes her dog's teeth, and even sleeps on her couch. Okay, I'll admit, this is a tad bit excessive, and some people actually found this to be creepy. That's understandable, but considering that she seemed really out of it and Ben proves himself to be a likeable character, I found it to be rather good-natured and considerate than creepy.
The screenplay, penned by the legendary comedy writing duo of Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, is well-written with unfailingly funny humor, believable dialogue, and good characters. Seriously, the humor in this film is incredibly hilarious. One of my favorite bits is when one of Lindsey's friends calls their bike instructor a Nazi spin bitch. I also really liked one bit where Ben's in the shower and he's asking his doctor friend why he's shaving his testicles. Trust me, it's funnier than how I'm describing it.
Craig Armstrong delivers a really good musical score. It's a shame this score hasn't gotten a CD release, even nearly ten years after this film came out. However, the soundtrack is awesome. There are lots of quality songs on that soundtrack. The cinematography by the Farrellys' current go-to cinematographer Matthew F. Leonetti is pretty solid. We get some really nice shots of Fenway Park and of the city of Boston. Also, if you're expecting some T&A, don't worry, you'll get it (watch the bike/cycle gym scene that takes place eight and a half minutes into the movie in case you don't believe me).
FINAL SCORE: 8/10
Some things could get a little too sappy and clichéd, but overall, Fever Pitch manages to hit a home run, benefitting from an intelligently-written script, incredibly funny humor, and wonderful chemistry between Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon. Fever Pitch is a sweet, hilarious, and genuine film, one of the better romantic comedies to come out, and one of my top five favorite films from the Farrelly brothers. I really enjoyed this film and I recommend it.
I wanted to like this especially since Drew Barrymore seems to have the rom-com market cornered. But alas, she has finally met her match; Jimmy Fallon is rom-com poison. No amount of cuteness from Barrymore could save this film; they had no chemistry what-so-ever, and how can they? Fallon barely had a pulse; talk about a dead-pan performance, emphasis on dead! It's too bad because the story was cute and idea was adorable but had they chosen a stronger male lead, one really capable of being charming and funny, this could have been another one of those sleeper faves from Barrymore's extensive rom-com library like: "Never Been Kissed" "50 First Dates" or "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" or "The Wedding Singer". But it's just D.O.A.
(Full review coming soon)
"Yay, both games have the world PITCH..it'll be PERRRRFECT! - Some Studio Exec