It's a popular stereotype and a running joke: what is a woman to do when her man loves sports more than he loves her? In this romantic comedy, Drew Barrymore and James Fallon star as two opposites who fall hard for each other and make quick progress to a serious relationship. The fast track love comes to a crashing halt when Lindsey (Barrymore) discovers another side to her new beau. Ben (Fallon) is the ultimate Boston Red Sox fan. Completely obsessed with the Red Sox; he attends every game, has more Red Sox paraphenillia than the most dilligent collector, and lists his priorities as "the Red Sox, then breathing." Although Lindsey tries to understand and accept Ben's obsession with the baseball team, she is both uninterested in baseball in general and concerned about Ben's extreme behavior when it comes to his beloved team.
Directed by Peter and Bobby Farley ("There's Something About Mary"), Fever Pitch is a surprisingly "normal" movie. The directing brothers left out their infamous gross out tactics and wild storylines in favor of a simpler, heart-warming love story. The film is based on a memoir written by British author, Nick Hornsby (who also wrote "About a Boy") and his obsession with football (soccer) as he was growing up.
James Fallon (Saturday Night Live, Taxi) is Ben, an elementary school teacher and a genuinely nice man. Although he works hard and seems to really enjoy his job, he loves having summers off and loves his laid back lifestyle. Drew Barrymore is Lindsey, an executive who loves to work as hard as possible. A habitual overachiever, Lynn typically dates men that are her equal - men who make success their priority.
This movie proves to be a bit of a redemption song for James Fallon and the directors. After his initial attempt to transition from television to the big screen flopped with "Taxi," Fallon gets the opportunity to prove that he can be a great leading man and is as funny on the big screen as he was on Saturday Night Live. The Farley brothers get the chance to demonstrate that they still have what it takes despite the disappointing "Shallow Hal" and "Stuck on You." Drew Barrymore and James Fallon are great together. Similar to her roles with Adam Sandler, you get the feeling that Barrymore is friends with the leading man in real life; they seem to have a lot of fun acting opposite one another. Their chemistry is nearly tangible and the laughter seems genuine. The Red Sox story is fun too - it was great to see a team with an incredible losing streak finally win it in the end.
With a few predictable jokes and a typical supporting cast, Fever Pitch is similar to other love stories we've seen. Overall, it manages to remain unique though - not just for it's focus on a famous baseball team, but also because it adds emotion and heart to a story that could've easily been too silly and uninteresting.
Extra Extra! Tidbits About the Movie...
*In Reality - Shooting for the film was nearly completed when the unexpected happened: the Boston Red Sox broke an 86 year losing streak and won the World Series. Anticipating a magical moment, directors sent Fallon and Barrymore to the last game "just in case" and got actual footage of the winning moment.
*Song Worthy - "Give A Little Bit" - The Goo Goo Dolls
*Tidbit - The Boston Red Sox got their name during a time when naming a team after the color of their socks (stockings) was becoming popular. The trend eventually died, but the Red Sox kept their name which was popular with fans.