Fever Pitch

April 12, 2005 – Yes, you know it had to be done. The 2004 world champion Boston Red Sox: the movie. And, since it had to be done, the critics agree "Fever Pitch" does a bang up job of it.
And how do they do it? Well now, bear in mind this is Hollywood, so here's how it goes.
How would you like to fall for someone only to find you have 25 competitors? Not much, for most of us. But, Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore) ain't most of us – she has a few things going for her, too.
Lindsey, a young professional woman, meets East Boston High math teacher Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon), and that's it. She is in love. Though a high school teacher isn't what she would have had in mind, there it is. She's bonkers.
Lindsey, who is totally clueless about baseball – she thinks when Ben goes to the club's spring training, it means he gets to play with the team – believes Ben's devotion to the Sox is something she can live with. She is very busy, herself, vying for a career promotion.
Let's say Lindsey begins to get a notion of where she stands when Ben gets down on one knee to ask for her hand – to the opening day at Fenway Park. Ben is a full-fledged season-ticket holding member of the Red Sox Nation.
The movie, which is described as a "sweet comedy," by one reviewer, is directed by the Farrelly brothers. Yes, you read that right. Sweet comedy is not the brother's stock in trade.
Critic Wesley Morris says in the Boston Globe, "This is the first movie they've made where all the characters seem like people rather than jokes.
"The stink of Soxploitation," also bothered Morris. He says, "The sight, last year of Fallon and Barrymore hopping onto the field and making out at Busch Stadium after the team won the World Series smacked of Hollywood opportunism at its most nauseating."
However, he concedes, "As it turns out, ''Fever Pitch" is respectful and heartfelt about the problems that come with extreme fandom and how they might impinge on the happiness of a person who couldn't care less about Carl Yastrzemski."
Alison Benedikt, in the Chicago Tribune agrees with Morris' estimate of the Farrelly brothers range. "The gall of Peter and Bobby Farrelly, to think they could make a romantic comedy without sleazy" tricks," he says. However Benedikt finds himself pleasantly surprised: "Mrs. Farrelly's boys have got themselves a natural and heartfelt screen romance," he says.
But the path of true love is never as straight as a line drive, as Lindsey discovers as the season rolls on and Ben's attention centers more on Johnny Damon batting average than Lindsey' multitudinous charms.
Benekidt, also saw the two movie stars at the last game. He says, "Watching that ultimate victory's post-game celebration on TV last fall, many of you might have asked, 'What the heck are Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon doing on the field?' Technically, they were filming the closing scene of 'Fever Pitch'—acting as Ben and Lindsey. But on screen it's quite clear that those lunatics jumping and flailing just feet from Johnny and Curt are Drew and Jimmy, Red Sox fans.
The movie is loosely based on Nick Hornby's book "About A Boy," which, being British, was about soccer.
It is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor. (Hmm, and the reviewers said the Farrelly brothers had left their signature "crude humor" behind.) It is an hour and 41 minutes long.
It is playing at Sunny Isle Theaters.

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