Fever Pitch

Bomb Rating: 

Most people aren't even aware that this is a Farrelly brothers movie. This is because "Stuck on You" sucked so bad that the Farrelly name turned from an asset into a liability and studio executives will now only admit the brothers' association with a film when questioned directly under oath, and sometimes not even then. Exacerbating this problem is the fact that the Farrellys are pushing 50 and their audience from 11 years ago with "Dumb & Dumber" and 7 years ago with "There's Something About Mary" is entering that dreaded "adulthood" phase where laughing at jizz-in-the-hair jokes gets a glance from the wife that has "expensive divorce" written all over it.

Most people probably also aren't aware that "Fever Pitch" is based on a Nick Hornby novel. Hornby also wrote "High Fidelity" and "About a Boy," which were turned into films that featured actual British people in them because they kept somewhat true to the source material. The novel "Fever Pitch" is about football (or soccer, as we Americans like to call it). Obviously, it's been turned into a very American movie.

One last thing many people may not know is that the end of the movie had to be redone because the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. This ends up raising a pretty interesting question. It's one thing if Ben (Jimmy Fallon) is a lifelong fan who meets the love of his life in Lindsey (Drew Barrymore) and must choose between her and his beloved season tickets. It makes the choice a bit easier. However, add the little twist of giving up those tickets followed by a Sox World Series win and I see an ending where Ben jumps off a bridge, Lindsey or no Lindsey.

The very fact that we know a big part of the film's ending certainly lessens the suspense somewhat. The film also suffers from a major problem that plagues most romantic comedies: We're supposed to believe that the hot female lead (Drew Barrymore) can't find a decent date and that the dopey male lead (Fallon) is the only thing she can find and when she discovers that he's a complete loser, she doesn't run for the hills. In real life, she'd run for the hills. The only merit badge missing from the guy's award case of loserhood is that he doesn't live with his folks.

Fever Pitch is a strikeout.

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