"Baseball or Love? Tough Choice"
What You Need To Know:
FEVER PITCH is charming but goofy, like last year’s 50 FIRST DATES but less bawdy. Think twice before taking teenagers to see FEVER PITCH because there are several sexual references and innuendos, plus it is clear that Lindsey and Ben sleep together while dating. Fallon and Barrymore don’t have the best chemistry, but the audience can’t help but root for them. The movie’s pacing is jerky with boring stretches. Overall, the movie tries for “cute” and almost succeeds.
(H, B, LL, V, S, A, D, M) Mixed/indeterminate worldview with light humanist viewpoint, and love overcomes personal problems; seven mostly light obscenities and seven exclamatory profanities like “Oh my God!”; some joking threats, spectator hit by ball at baseball game, and woman punches her friend; several sexual innuendos and jokes, including mostly minor mentions of pornography and wife swapping (man jokingly offers his wife in exchange for season tickets to the Boston Red Sox), implied fornication and implied cohabitation, and unmarried couple undergoes a pregnancy scare; man helps sick woman change her clothes (nothing shown) and upper male nudity in shower; alcohol; character smokes a cigar; and, unhealthy obsession with pastimes.
FEVER PITCH is another cute, mostly innocuous comedy with Drew Barrymore. SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE’s Jimmy Fallon stars as Ben, a school teacher who harbors a lifelong fixation with the Boston Red Sox. Barrymore plays Lindsey, a straight-laced professional who is great at her job but can’t find success outside the office. Ben charms Lindsey, and their burgeoning relationship is going perfectly – until baseball season starts.
Once the Red Sox take the field, Lindsey sees that Ben is utterly obsessed with baseball. His apartment walls, telephone, shower curtain, and even the silverware bare the Red Sox logo. Naturally, he has season tickets, but baseball begins to distract Lindsey from her work and then from her affection for Ben. It is almost impossible for her to have a normal life with him due to his fixation.
Both of them see the value of compromise – one with baseball, one with career – and the story plays out to a satisfyingly romantic “Gift of the Magi”-style conclusion.
FEVER PITCH is charming but goofy and peppered with a few light sexual jokes, much like 2004’s 50 FIRST DATES with Barrymore and Adam Sandler. FEVER PITCH, however, has less sexual content. Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore don’t have the most convincing chemistry on screen, but the audience can’t help but root for them to solve their problems.
The worldview is muddled but technically humanist. Everyone lives for their own reasons, often just for personal comfort. Nothing about the movie’s premise is offensive or objectionable, however. Many people will relate to the notion of getting carried away or loving someone who is.
Behind the camera are the Farrelly Brothers, makers of THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY and DUMB AND DUMBER. Although those slapstick movies were imbued with some trace amount of genuine emotion, the directing team seems out of their element here. Many of the non-sequitur jokes feel forced, and the movie’s pacing is very jerky with a couple of boring stretches.
Think twice before taking teenagers to see FEVER PITCH, because there are several sexual references and innuendos, plus it is clear that Lindsey and Ben sleep together while dating. In other words, Ben gets much further than first base with Lindsey, but nothing is directly shown except for Ben and Lindsey lying together and starting to take off their clothes in one scene. Overall, FEVER PITCH tries for “cute” and almost succeeds.