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PCR # 265  (Vol. 6, No. 16)  This edition is for the week of April 18--24, 2005.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Fever Pitch"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Fever Pitch"
 by Mike Smith
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 by Nicholas King
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Mike Spits In Jane Fonda's Face!!...Jawsfest
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20th Century Fox     
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon, James B. Sikking and Ione Skye
Directed by: Peter Farrelley and Bobby Farrelley
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 38 mins

As I've gotten older I've developed two passionate hobbies. Movies and baseball. So, what better way to spend my time then seeing "Fever Pitch," which is, on the surface, a movie about baseball. But below the surface is a surprisingly sweet love story that would make even the most hardened Yankee fan smile.

Jimmy Fallon is Ben. From mid-October through February he's a normal, mild mannered school teacher. But, when his favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, take the field, he's a man obsessed. He's not your regular pennant waving fan. This is a man in his 30s who sleeps on Red Sox sheets and uses Yankee toilet paper. One day on a school field trip Ben meets Lindsey (Barrymore), a brilliant executive on her way to the top. Even though they realize they may not have much in common they begin to date. And things go well through the winter. Then Ben breaks the news to Lindsey. As a long suffering Sox fan he must, along with the rest of the Red Sox Nation, attend every game no matter the personal sacrifice. At first Lindsey accepts Ben and his ways. But soon she learns that Ben will put the Sox above everything. Even her.

The fact that, after 86 years of trying, the Red Sox finally won the World Series last year has really brought the national pastime back to the masses. And if you enjoy baseball you will find "Fever Pitch" enjoyable. But beyond the balls and strikes is the story of two different people slowly discovering they have more in common then they think. This is easily Barrymore's best performance in years and Fallon proves that, with the right project, his style of comedy works on screen. You feel his passion for the Sox, be it the joy in making his friends do a dance to see who gets to use his season tickets to the depression he feels when he watches Bill Buckner's error in the 1986 World Series over and over again on video tape. And it's good to see Ione Skye, best known as the girl John Cusack falls for in "Say Anything," show up as one of Lindsey's close friends. The script by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel ("Splash," "City Slickers") is full of small, comedic scenes that keep the film moving smoothly.

As originally written, the film was to spotlight once again the pall that comes over Red Sox Nation after the season has ended. However, with the Red Sox one win away from winning the series last year, the film company got permission from Major League Baseball and sent cast and crew to game four and were able to capture the celebration. As my team, the Baltimore Orioles, haven't won the World Series in 21 years I could easily understand Ben's elation. Besides, anyone who uses Yankee toilet paper is ok with me.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give "Fever Pitch"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Fever Pitch" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.