And now I will give you my review of Fever Pitch, a movie that I saw in sneak preview this weekend. First, a few facts. One, I am not a Red Sox fan. In fact, I am, how shall we say... the opposite. Two, I took the boyfriend with me, so maybe you'll get a little of his opinion too. (Ok, fine, he took me. Whatever.)
Jimmy Fallon plays the main character, a big Boston fan. Some say Fallon got this role because of the role he had played as Sully, also a Sox fan, on SNL. In real life, you'll be happy to know, Fallon is not a Red Sox fan. Basically, the plot is that he's having a cute little happy romance with Drew Barrymore, until opening day comes along, and he just can't seem to put her before the Red Sox.
If you're a baseball fan, you can relate to this. It's an intensive season. It's not like football where they play once a week. Baseball teams play 5 or 6 days a week. This makes it hard to do other things, like study for the bar, or, you know, have a regular job. It's convenient then that Ben (played by Fallon) is a school teacher and has the summer off.
The movie is directed by the Farrelly brothers, so you can count on some humorous moments. But it also has a fair share of sappy romantic comedy moments.
First, just a few criticisms. There were also a few things that I also felt were almost amateurly done, which was strange. For example, the movie uses title screens to transition, such as "The First Date." I just think that a decent director could show us that this is the first date (can't we all recognize a first date when we see one? I recognize it if there's people having a first date next to me in a restaurant) without the little title shots. It took away from the movie.
When I'm at a movie, I want to be engrossed in it, and I felt like this gave me just a moment to lose that feeling and start thinking things like, "Did I call that client back? Maybe I brought his number home, I can call over the weekend... Oh wait, I'm at the movies. What's going on? Oh yeah, their first date. Good thing we had that title screen there."
There were also a few lines that I felt were awkward. I can't remember the exact lines now, but I think if you see the movie you'll know what I'm talking about. There were lines by Lindsey (Barrymore) where I remember thinking, "Ok, that was written in that awkward style because that's how Drew Barrymore talks sometimes. " But it wasn't natural for Barrymore's character, Lindsey, who is supposed to be a professional businesswoman. It was just a few lines, but it distracted me a little bit.
Ione Skye plays a small role in the movie, and it was nice to see her again. I haven't really seen her in anything since Wayne's World, and, of course, Say Anything.
It was also interesting because I remember a little bit of press when they were filming the movie - I remember that they invited fans to stay in the stands as extras after the games. (I'm only giving things away here if you don't follow baseball or the media at all.) I also remember there being some press that they were reshooting the ending after the Sox won. And, I remember on the actual broadcast of the world series (I'm not giving anything away if you watched the world series), there was a brief shot of Fallon and Barrymore on the field, celebrating with the players. This was shot for the rewrite. So, it was kind of cool to watch it and think about how the movie would have ended if the rewrite wasn't necessary, and at what point the directors had to start filming actual games, thinking that they were going to incorporate them into a new ending. That was kind of cool.
Overall, I thought the movie was cute. I liked it. I felt a little dirty afterward, like I'd been cheering for the Red Sox, but if you can overcome that, it's a cute date movie.
Mom wants to know, "Will I like it if I don't know baseball?" Well, first of all, I told her, maybe it's a good time to get yourself out from under that rock and learn something about baseball. Although, maybe not from this movie. Because then you're going to learn that Boston doesn't suck, and we all know from reading my t-shirt collection, that Boston, does, in fact, suck. Anyway, yeah, if you like a cute romantic comedy, or if you just like to see Drew Barrymore, you can enjoy this without knowing anything about baseball. I just don't want you getting it into your head that you can learn something about baseball from this movie. Because you can't.
Ok, guys, want the boyfriend's opinion? He calls this kind of movie a "trick flick." This is a term he coined for a movie which is like a chick flick, only worse, because it tricks you into thinking it's not. He says that it's fine if a movie is advertised as a chick flick, because maybe he'll get dragged to it, but then at least we're both on the same page that he saw this chick flick for me, and I, therefore, owe him the next time he wants to see something stupid. But a trick flick, he argues, skews that negotiation because we walk into the movie thinking we're seeing something for both of us (here, some baseball, some comedy, and maybe a little romance), but he was tricked, because it had more romantic comedy elements than expected.
"It all stared with Jerry Maguire," he says. "They got you in there with a trailer full of football clips, and then you see the movie and it's 5% sports, 95% sappy romance. That's a trick flick."
So, in sum, yes, it's a chick flick. And a trick flick. But it's cute, and it's funny. Maybe you'll get a few more of the jokes if you follow baseball, but you won't be lost if you don't. Barrymore and Fallon are cute. But, through it all, just remember, Boston sucks.