Summer Catch (2001)
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Prinze plays his standard romantic hero role and tries to throw in some baseball. He is fair at both but keeps getting outshined by his supporting cast. I've never really understood the big sensation over Jessica Biel. She shows in this film that her acting is far inferior to her looks. Biel and Prinze interact like marble statues, nice to look at but no chemistry whatever.
The best performances were given by supporting cast members. Fred Ward does a terrific job as Ryan's dad. Brian Dennehy is always fabulous in supporting roles and does not disappoint as the coach of the A's. Brittany Murphy does a fantastic wild thing, with a provocative earthiness that is simultaneously seductive and cute.
There is not much substance here. The baseball scenes are weak and the romance is tepid. The film has some endearing moments but fails to distinguish itself except that it gets goofy far too often. I rated it a 5/10. Fans of Prinze and Biel will enjoy seeing them look sexy for an hour and three quarters. Others might want to miss it.
The basic plot of "Summer Catch" is Freddy Prinze Jr. has some emotional crisis going on because he messed up a chance at 'making it', although that was never clearly explained. See, Prinze is a less-than-minor league pitcher, and he pitches good (those 50mph fastballs strangely clocked on-screen at 95mph!!) but once his mind gets clouded he folds on the mound. So, 7th Heaven star Jessica Biel comes into the fray to win Prinze's heart so he'll be that great pitcher that we all know he can be!
Prinze gives his usual "cute boy who smiles a lot" routine, and Matthew Lillard also gives his usual "side-kick to Freddy Prinze Jr." routine. Although Lillard is hilarious in some scenes, I can't figure out why he didn't have more screen time. Wilmer Valderama (Fez from That 70's Show) gives a great performance, although I don't think I saw him for 10 minutes total in the movie!? Marc Blucas (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) also has a memorable performance, although again his talents are avoided to give Prinze and Jessica Biel more kissing screen-time. I'd say that whenever the story's focus goes back to Prinze's "overcoming-oneself-to-make-it" over-used plot, the movie comes to a complete hault.
Lack of pacing, no story, bad acting, bad casting, and a combination of washed up actors (Brian Dennehy, Jason Gedrick) and new "talent", makes it impossible for me to recommend this movie.
This film is like three different films. A mushy teen romance that not even I (a teenager) could fall for, a sports film, and a porn film - none of which seem to be connected in anyway. My friends and I went to see this because a friend of mine loves Freddie Prinze, Jr. She spent days apologizing profusely for it.
We can't talk about plot holes because there is not a plot to find holes in. Perhaps a more feasible exercise would be to try and find the places where it made sense. The dialogue was corny and crude by turns - jerking back and forth between the two with no apparent attention whatsoever. Trying to summarize the story now in my head, I can't do it.
I am not a big fan of sports, but I do like sports movies. I love Tin Cup and it doesn't even take much inducement for me to watch The Mighty Ducks once in awhile. But in Summer Catch, even to someone who understands the game (what was it again? baseball?) would be entirely lost.
The sex scenes, inserted at random moments are so perverse that I will not go into detail. Just thinking about them now makes my skin crawl. Of course the thought of Freddie Prinze, Jr. in a thong doesn't help matters much. (If you're a teenaged girl you might think differently - trust me, from one teenaged girl to another it's not a pleasant sight.)
The theater was practically empty except for my group of friends and another group of people whom we knew who happen to be actresses (I go to an arts school). We were all shell-shocked for weeks afterward, and any time we come even close to the subject of bad movies, this one is always first to come up. After leaving the theater, we told everyone we could find, "We just saw the WORST movie ever made."
One good thing - I laughed more in it than I've ever laughed in anything. The writing, acting, directing, editing, even the costumes were bad. Amidst my revulsion, I simply couldn't help laughing, it was so horrible.
Any respect that I may have had for anyone involved in this movie has gone down 100%.
I gave it 1/10 but it deserves less. And by the way, my friend doesn't love Freddie Prinze, Jr. anymore.
The film's intent is to tell the viewer about the troubles that Ryan goes through in his life. It teaches the viewers that some times they need to leave their problems behind and move on. It is also a love story about two people from different worlds and the troubles that their relationship goes through. The movie accomplishes these points very well. It lets the viewer see into the mind of Ryan and lets them feel like they are part of the movie. It also has a suspense level letting the viewer wonder if Ryan and Tenley's relationship will survive. This movie is a very good movie for someone who likes love stories, but there is also the baseball element for the guys. This is also a great movie for a couple to see, because they both learn a lesson from the movie. I would recommend seeing this movie many times.
After reading all the harsh words here slung at SUMMER CATCH, I had to contribute some levity. Yeah, the baseball scenes are edited to avoid showing actual baseball mechanics, but does that really matter in a movie like this? Some of the baseball action with Freddie Prinze was almost exciting, and this is the first time I can honestly put "Freddie Prinze" and "exciting" in the same sentence without inserting "not" between them. (Please note, I wrote "almost.")
Let's now get the negativity out of the way. First, I couldn't believe all the sex play in this PG-13 movie (which replaces COYOTE UGLY on the top of the Jack Valenti Wall of Shame). I'm no prude, but this movie deserves an R-rating for its lewd beer-pouring moments alone. And speaking of sex, while Beverly D'Angelo cucumber-loving den mother looked fantastic in this movie, her role here was an uninspired retread of similar characters from BULL DURHAM and YOUNGBLOOD. And what was with that guy who dug, well, "a whole lotta woman"? He made some comment about admiring guys' butts, but that quasi-queer angle never made a second appearance. Yep, SUMMER CATCH is PG-13. (And ALMOST FAMOUS gets an "R." Someone please explain this inconsistency!)
So, anyway, besides all that, there's also the laundry list of ancient clichés: Overcoming parental loss, losing one's virginity to an older woman, the stoner peanut gallery, the cute kid, love crossing class boundaries, climbing from despair to victory, winning the Big Game, and, finally, Freddie Prinze is a Really Nice Guy while Sidekick Matthew Lillard Provides Comic Relief. And who could sleep while being soaked by a sprinkler? And the diction of Freddie's brother for some reason reminded me of Steve from SEX AND THE CITY;
The soundtrack is filled with forgettable rock tunes and a score inexplicably reminiscent of the music in THE LAST SEDUCTION. And with all the product placement here, was this movie sponsored by the Samuel Adams brew company?
So, why don't I hate this movie? I dunno, maybe since I watched the sleazy SWORDFISH earlier in the evening and most any movie would look better after that crap. Or maybe because of the unexpected Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey and Beverly D'Angelo cameos (Ellen Griswold never looked so fine), or since our hero made his big-league debut with Philadelphia (I was raised in South Jersey and will always be a Phillies Phan). Like I already said, some of the baseball stuff is kind of fun despite the sleight-of-hand direction. And, hey, I'm the guy who likes THE FAN; maybe I just cannot totally trash any baseball movie. No, not even FOR LOVE OF THE GAME, which resembles SUMMER CATCH in that both movies should have kept their stories on the field and dropped their goopy romantic subplots.
I thought "Summer Catch" had a cute plot, and a good title. So I popped in the DVD and watched it with my mom. Well, as it turned out, I had to sit and blush through an hour and a half of unoriginal thong jokes, makeout sessions between two characters that produce no chemistry whatsoever, and bad acting. I didn't laugh at loud once, which is rare for me, and I didn't even buy Ryan and Tenley's relationship, which is rarer.
About the bad acting, Freddie Prinze, Jr., was never an award-winner. But in this flick, I don't believe a word he says. And Jessica Beil is pretty good most of the time, but at other parts she is monotonous. But they are both really cute, so it's appealing more to the eye than the mind.
The only thing that makes this movie worth watching (if it even is) is Matthew Lilliard and Brittany Murphy. Lilliard plays Prinze, Jr.,'s hyperactive sidekick who eventually falls for Murphy, the outlandish but likable town tramp who pours beer in guys' mouths from bottles between her legs (one of the few priceless scenes).
If you're looking for a funny movie, this is an okay choice, but not if you're looking for a romance.
Congratulations, Summer Catch!
Where to begin? The plot? Oh, that! The main plot has the poor Freddie Prinze Jr trying to overcome the hardships of being a poor gardener's son to become a great baseball player. Meanwhile, he falls for rich girl Jessica Biel. Uh oh, here comes a clash of cultures! I'm sure Jessica's father would not approve!
There are a bunch of subplots relating to the rest of the cast being wacky baseballers, including Marc Blucas falling for a fat girl, Fez from that 70's show having a The Graduate experience, and Matthew Lillard doing whatever it is that Matthew Lillard does in movies. I liked Scream, but the boy needs to stop. There's also a little girl who does something. You'll notice that I'm calling the people by the actors' names, and not by their characters' names. That is because there is not a single memorable character.
No redeeming qualities. At all. This movie simply should not have been made. Unoriginal, uninspired, nothing more than a moneyspinner, and it failed. It won't stop these movies being made, but perhaps it will stop a few from watching them.
On a side note, Brittany Murphy: you have talent. Go elsewhere.
As far as the acting is concerned, Freddie Prinze Jr. is the worst young "actor" this side of Britney Spears. The thing that saddens me most is that it took me a while to realize that. Jessica Biel is hot and always bra-less and horribly melodramatic. After the Tremors sequels, I didn't think Fred Ward could be in a worse movie. John C. McGinley is the only good actor in this movie but his part is so small (yes, there are small parts) and badly written that even his acting skills couldn't save it. Now I have some questions. How did they get Hank Aaron in this movie? I'm a huge baseball fan and having him play a tiny part in it is a disgrace and irresponsible.
This film proves to me that the Hollywood machine in this N'Sync driven society of recent years will take any lame script and any young "bankable" named actor and waste a perfectly good opportunity to make a quality film. Next time Hollywood producers, save your money, and leave Hank Aaron out of it.
I can't stop laughing from all the hilarious comments from people thrashing this disposable excuse for teen entertainment. From the guy who shut it off three minutes before the end to the transcription of the final scene, these reviews are just killing me.
Was Freddie Prinze hypnotized to play baseball for this movie? I've never seen anyone with such a vacant a stare. Every one of his closeups he looks like he's dreaming about cashing Sarah Michelle Gellar's Buffy residual checks. Doesn't it bother anyone that Freddie's problem is supposed to be that he got kicked off his college team cause he has a "temper" but he doesn't get in a single fight with anyone or anything? And what's with Freddie calling his dad and brother failures? It's not like his dad or brother wanted to be baseball players and flunked out, right? They never say that his dad and brother aren't happy doing their jobs? It's honest work, right? What the hell's wrong with running a landscaping business or managing a bar? It's shocking how lazily this was thrown together.
I feel bad for the people who like this movie, because whether you realize it or not, you deserve better. Believe it or not, it is possible to make formula teen movies with Tiger Beat coverboys and TV actresses that aren't this lame.
The movie is a mixture of an usual Teenie-Lovestory and an usual Sports Drama. All of it you have seen a thousand times in other movies and when you watch the first five minutes, you know how this movie ends.
I'm rating it 5/10.
The saddest thing about this film though is the number of great people who have ruined their reputations by starring in this rubbish-Brian Dennehy,Fred Ward,Marc "Buffy" Blucas and worst of all Brittany Murphy all have roles in this film and all of them should hang their heads in shame.
The only decent thing about this film is Matthew Lillard but even he cant save this film this time.
So is short this film is a pile of crap and to be quite honest i suggest you avoid this like the plague...in the meantime i am off to watch "field of dreams"