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Ben Rightman is a baseball fan. No, strike that - Ben, played by Jimmy Fallon, is more than just a fan. Ben is one of the proud, passionate, perpetually frustrated fans of Major League Baseball's most misfortunate team, the Boston Red Sox. Fever Pitch is their story.
You see, the last time the Red Sox won the World Series was in 1918. Then, on one fateful day in January, 1920, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee traded star player, Babe Ruth, to the New York Yankees. The Babe would go on to break his own home run records; the Yankees would go on to win 26 World Series Championships; and the Red Sox would spend the next eighty-odd Octobers somewhere short of first place. Now that's wicked harsh! For Ben and other Beantown fans, following the troubled Red Sox would grow to become one of the most absorbing love/hate relationships in baseball history.
In addition to the Red Sox, Fever Pitch also serves up a second relationship for Ben to contend with in the form of Lindsey Meeks. Lindsey, played by Drew Barrymore, is a career gal who prizes her work as much as Ben prizes his beloved Red Sox. No problem, though, since during baseball season, while Lindsey's at the office, Ben will be at the ballpark! From a dating standpoint that should work out just fine, right? Wrong. What follows is a charming mix of romantic comedy and compromise, set against the 2004 Red Sox bid for that ever-elusive World Series win.
It's hard to believe that Fever Pitch is the work of the Farrelly brothers, infamous directors of such fims as Dumb & Dumber and There's Something About Mary. It may seem that these two "Kings of Crude" have matured since 2003's Stuck On You, but don't be fooled. I have a feeling that Fever Pitch is just a diversion for them, no doubt to help prove to Hollywood that they can actually direct a 'real' movie. Believe it or not, they can!
On the acting front, Fever Pitch is a much better vehicle for Jimmy Fallon that last year's Taxi. Fallon seems to be positioning himself as Hollywood's next sarcastic but likeable everyman. As for Drew Barrymore, she is finally beginning to show her versatility as an actress. In Fever Pitch, she displays an almost chameleon-like ability to follow the lead of her leading man, as far as tone is concerned, which results in a nice romantic chemistry between her and Fallon, as well as the most professional and understated comic performance of her career.
With its winning combination of comedy and romance, and its quirky look back at one of the most ironic chapters in the history of America's favorite pastime, Fever Pitch is a sure fire hit. See it with the team you love!
Directed By: Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly
Written By: Nick Hornby (novel) / Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel (screenplay)
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon, Jason Spevack, Jack Kehler,
Scott Severance, Jessamy Finet, Maureen Keiller, Lenny Clarke, Ione Skye
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, and some sensuality.