Is Jimmy Fallon the Jack Lemmon of the 21st century? Could be if he makes about 70 more films. In Fever Pitch he plays a teacher who is a Boston Red Sox fanatic. A scaled-down replica of the “green monster” in his apartment fanatic. Fallon channels Lemmon as the sweet, lovable, bumbling sap (well maybe not sap; he is a teacher, after all) who falls in love with Drew Barrymore’s type A personality corporate executive. Together they follow the usual romantic comedy plot while Fallon’s character makes a Red Sox fan of Barrymore’s baseball-challenged corporate climber.
The 1992 novel Fever Pitch was written by Brit Nick Hornby. It is a memoir of the author’s obsession with British football, Arsenal in particular. Pitch being the name for the football playing surface. In 1997 a British film based on the novel was released starring Colin Firth. Whether this American version was based on the novel or the British film is a question you would have to ask the Farrelly brothers.
Unfortunately/fortunately the real-life miracle comeback of the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 playoffs and subsequent World Series victory intruded on the script. The cobbled together final portion of the film with a narration over Red Sox highlights seems rushed. All that’s missing is a calendar on the wall with pages being torn out.
Drew Barrymore is her usual sweet self in the film, she plays getting hit in the head with a foul ball very well, I mean it. Her character Lindsey becomes ill in one scene, and on a Tonight Show appearance she talked about how she was becoming an accomplished fake vomiter. I believed it.
Watch for James B. Sikking as Lindsey’s father.
Fever Pitch is just what it appears to be, a romantic comedy of the old school which reminds me of the great Jack Lemmon vehicles of the previous century. The Red Sox aren’t bad in it either.Powered by Sidelines