When relaxed and charming Ben Wrightman meets workaholic Lindsey Meeks she finds him sweet and charming, they hit it off and when it is winter Ben can spend every waking hour with Lindsey, but when summer comes around the corner Lindsey discovers Ben's obsession with the Boston Red Sox. She thinks it is perfect until everything goes downhill for them.Written by
This film is loosely based on author Nick Hornby's autobiographical account of his fanatical obsession with soccer football while growing up (filmed in its original setting as Fever Pitch (1997)). Both the book and this film focus on a team winning a championship after a long trophy drought. The original story looked retrospectively at the time Arsenal F.C. had won the (English) Football League First Division in 1989, the first time in 18 years, so the sporting happy ending was built in. Famously this film, originally not based on the Red Sox actually winning, had to be rewritten since the Red Sox did achieve their first World Series for 86 years in the very season while it was being made. See more »
When Ben and Lindsey are having their BBQ in the park, Ben is holding his cup in his right hand. Change angle on shot, and he is gesturing with his right hand, now empty. Change angle, it's back again. See more »
Eighty-six years of bangin' our heads against the big green wall, but we finally did it. That part you know. That part everybody knows. But I got a story you don't know. It's about this schoolteacher friend of mine named Ben.
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Footage of the "rolling rally" victory parade is shown at the end. See more »
The DVD editon of the film dubbed the "Cursed Reversed Edition for Boston Red Sox fans" by Fox contains the alternate ending of the film that was actually shot during the 2004 playoffs and World Series. In the original ending of the film scripted by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, "The Curse of the Bambino" dubbed by die hard Red Sox fans would have continued "if" the Yankees had beaten them in the playoffs. The Red Sox, who were down by three games, had come back and beaten the Yankees which was the first time a pro-sports team had ever come back from such a defeat and eventually won the World Series, sweeping the St.Louis Cardinals. The moment that it had happened, Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon in character, ran onto the field and celebrated with the team. This ending was edited in the film as a montage with narration by actor Jack Kehler. See more »
"Fever Pitch" is a sweet and charming addition to the small genre of sports romances as date movies or movies a son could be willing to go to with his mother (though the guys in the audience got noticeably restless during the romantic scenes).
I have lived through a milder version of such a story, as my first exposure to baseball was dating my husband the spring after the Mets first World Series win and then I watched the Mets clinch their next one because I was the one still up in the wee hours with our two little sons, who have grown up to teach me more about baseball through our local neighborhood National League team's other heartbreaking failures to win it again (and it was me who took our older son to his only Fenway Park game as I caught a bit of Red Sox fever as a graduate student in Boston).
So compared to reality, the script believably creates two people with actual jobs. It is particularly impressive that Drew Barrymore's character is a substantive workaholic who has anti-Barbie skills, though she pretty much only visits with her three bland girlfriends during gym workouts that allow for much jiggling and the minor side stories with her parents don't completely work.
It is even set up credibly how she meets Jimmy Fallon's math teacher and how she falls for his "winter guy" -- though it's surprising that his Red Sox paraphernalia filled apartment didn't tip her off to his Jekyll-and-Hyde "summer guy." Their relationship crisis during the baseball season is also played out in a refreshingly grown-up way, from efforts at compromise to her frank challenges to him, centered around that they are both facing thirty and single. Fallon surprisingly rises to his character's gradual emotional maturity.
While the ending borrows heavily from O. Henry, the script writers did a yeoman job of quickly incorporating the Sox's incredible 2004 season into a revised story line (with lots of cooperation from the Red Sox organization for filming at the stadium).
The script goes out of its way to explain why Fallon doesn't have a Boston accent, as an immigrant from New Jersey, but that doesn't explain why his motley friends don't. The most authentic sounding Boston sounds come from most of his "summer family" of other season ticket holders, who kindly kibitz the basics of Sox lore to neophyte Barrymore (and any such audience members).
The song selection includes many Red Sox fans' favorites, from the opening notes of the classic "Dirty Water," though most are held to be heard over the closing credits as if you are listening to local radio and are worth sitting through to hear.
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