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Monday, November 28, 2005
Fever Pitch
Over the weekend, I watched the Jimmy Fallon/Drew Barrymore movie Fever Pitch. I have to admit the movie intrigued me for a couple of reasons. One is that the movie is based on a book by Nick Hornby, who seems to have a great track record of having good books turned into equally good movies (High Fidelity, About a Boy). The second reason was that it was directed by the Farralley brothers who gave us such classics as Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary, both of which are hysterical movies. Yeah, sure they're gross-out comedies, but even in all the insane jokes about bodily functions and mocking people who are different, the Farrelleys manage to have a heart to the movie. Sure, Jeff Daniels and Jim Carey are two of the biggest idiots to ever grace the silver screen, but the movie has heart.

And thirdly, it had Drew Barrymore who just seems to get more and more adorable with each passing movie (though this one in no way tops The Wedding Singer, which is just fabulous. I have no qualms about admitting that in public).

Anyway, the story of the film is that boy meets girl, boy is obsessed with the Red Sox and how that complicates the relationship of boy and girl. In the end, boy realizes that he needs to scale back the love of the Sox so he won't lose something he loves more in the girl and girl realizes that by making boy give up the obsession with the Sox, she is losing a fundamental part of what attracts her to him. Yeah, I know, it's not exactly a ground-breaking new film but it was a nice respite after watching Million Dollar Baby, which was good but seriously, I need therapy after seeing it.

During the course of the film, I found myself watching Fallon's character, Ben and actually feeling a lot better about myself. At one point, Barrymore's character comes and offers to whisk them away on a romantic weekend trip to Paris and Fallon's first reaction isn't--wow, that's awesome, but is instead to check the Red Sox schedule. Yeah, I've never done that. (That last part was sarcasm, BTW) At another point, Fallon states that he can't miss a game because "the team needs him there" to which Barrymore basically points out--yeah, like they're really going to know if you're there or not. This leads to him skipping the game and then having every sports fan's worst nightmare--missing the greatest game/comeback ever because you went out and had actual human interaction with another possibly non-sports interested person, maybe even one of the opposite sex who you might have more of connection with than just slapping high fives with other random fans at the winning run or big touchdown.

Again, not that I'd know anything about this. Sure, I love Tennessee, but I could give up a game or two if it was really important--provided it wasn't us playing Florida, Alabama, Georgia or in the SEC championship game. And no, a few years ago when UT played for a national title, I didn't laugh at the high school having a basketball game at the same time and expecting me to come out and cover it just because I was the sports editor for a small-town paper. (Luckily, they rescheduled at the last minute as did most of East Tennessee because...hey, this was a once in a lifetime kind of thing. ) So, anyway, I came away from Fever Pitch feeling a whole lot better about myself because hey, with football it's only about a quarter to a third of the year that I spent with my obsession and not eight months a year like baseball. Huge difference...

One other thing that struck me about the film was a conversation that takes place between Barrymore and her friends and Fallon and his. Basically, it's the first stages of the relationship and they are comparing notes on the each other with friends. At one point, both have friends who go--hey, he/she is over 30 and not taken or married? What's wrong with him/her? (This is before she knows that he's obsessesed with the Red Sox and that she is very driven to get ahead in her job). Interesting scene and I think it speaks a lot of truth about how relationships sometimes work, especially in the those early semi-awkward kind of stages. But it's a good thing the movie is fictional and things like that never happen in real life....

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/28/2005 08:11:00 AM | |
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