Theatrical release poster
|Based on||Fever Pitch|
by Nick Hornby
|Music by||Craig Armstrong|
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Edited by||Alan Baumgarten|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$50.5 million|
Fever Pitch (released as The Perfect Catch outside the United States and Canada) is a 2005 American romantic comedy film. It is directed by the Farrelly brothers, and stars Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon. It is a remake of the British 1997 film of the same name. Nick Hornby, who had written the original 1992 book and the 1997 screenplay adaptation, acted as an executive producer for the American remake.
While both the book and the original 1997 film are about soccer, the 2005 adaptation, aimed specifically at the U.S. market, is about baseball. Both Fever Pitch films feature real-life dramatic sporting victories, the original focusing on Arsenal's last minute League title win in the final game of the 1988-1989 season, and the remake on the Boston Red Sox's long-awaited 2004 World Series Championship in 2004.
7-year-old Ben Wrightman has just moved to the greater Boston area with his mother following his parents' divorce. To cheer the boy up, Ben's kindly uncle Carl brings him to a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park. That day, young Ben is hooked and becomes a die-hard Red Sox fan for life.
23 years later, the adult Ben (Jimmy Fallon) still lives in Boston and works as a school teacher, and has inherited his uncle's season tickets. Almost all of his possessions bear the Red Sox logo (with the exception of his toilet paper, which bears the New York Yankees insignia). On a school trip, Ben meets Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), a professionally successful workaholic executive. When Ben asks her out, Lindsey initially rejects him, but she later changes her mind and agrees to go out with him.
On the evening of their first date, Ben arrives at Lindsey's apartment to find her ill with food poisoning. Ben cares for Lindsey, helping her into her pajamas, cleaning up her bathroom, and bringing a care package with a DVD copy of Road House. Lindsey is charmed by his care and commitment, and the two develop a romantic relationship.
That spring, Ben asks Lindsey to accompany him to the Red Sox Opening Day. Lindsey, who knows little about baseball or the Red Sox, learns about the Curse of the Bambino from the season ticket holders who sit near Ben (including Al Waterman, a sponge salesman who also narrates the story). The two continue attending the games together, until one evening when Lindsey attempts to catch up on work by taking her laptop to the game. Lindsey is knocked out by a line drive foul ball by then Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada off Mike Myers (which ends up making the late night sports highlight reel). She eventually recovers but stops going to the games.
Things take a turn for the worse when Lindsey invites Ben to accompany her to Paris, and he declines because the Red Sox are in the heat of the playoff race. Before leaving for Paris, she tells Ben she is "late" and therefore might be pregnant with his child, and she also expresses concern over Ben's obsession with the Red Sox, which she sees as immature. To prove he is not obsessed, Ben agrees to miss a game against the Yankees to escort Lindsey to her friend's birthday party. Ben and Lindsey enjoy the party, and after making love, he tells her it was one of the best nights of his life. Moments later, Ben receives a call from his ecstatic friend Troy, who informs him that the Red Sox overcame a seven run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to pull off one of the greatest comebacks in team history. Ben becomes irate that he missed such an historic Red Sox moment, and angrily blames Lindsey for making him miss the game. Lindsey is heartbroken, and the two separate.
Ben soon misses Lindsey and visits her in a futile attempt to reconcile. To prove she means more to him than the Red Sox, he plans to sell his season tickets (for $125,000 – the price for which Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920). Lindsey finds out about his plan during the celebration for her much-anticipated promotion and rushes to the ballpark to stop him. She gets in during the 9th inning of the Red Sox—Yankees playoff game when the Sox are just three outs away from being swept, and Ben is in the stands about to sign the contract finalizing the season ticket sale. Desperate to reach Ben, Lindsey illegally runs across the field, deftly avoiding security personnel by running behind outfielder Johnny Damon and throwing his glove at them. She tears the contract in pieces and tells him that if Ben loves her enough to sell his seats, then she loves him enough not to allow him to do so. The two reunite and kiss in front of the entire crowd.
Al narrates the epilogue: the Red Sox won that game and then beat the Yankees three more times to win the American League pennant, later sweeping the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals in four games for their first World Series title in 86 years. Lindsay and Ben travel to Busch Stadium in St. Louis for the decisive Game 4. The two get married, and Lindsey falls pregnant. Al explains that the baby will be named after a famous Red Sox player - Ted Williams Wrightman if it's a boy, "Carla Yastrzemski" Wrightman if it's a girl - with the narrator hoping for a boy.
- Jimmy Fallon as Ben Wrightman
- Drew Barrymore as Lindsey Meeks
- James Sikking as Doug Meeks
- JoBeth Williams as Maureen Meeks
- Jason Spevack as Ben in 1980
- Jack Kehler as Al Waterman (also the narrator)
- Lenny Clarke as Uncle Carl
- Ione Skye as Molly
- Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Lana
- KaDee Strickland as Robin
- Marissa Jaret Winokur as Sarah
- Evan Helmuth as Troy
- Zen Gesner as Steve
- Jackie Burroughs as Mrs. Warren
- Stephen King as Himself
- Kris Williams as Herself
- Steve Levy as Himself
- Willie Garson as Kevin
- Armando Riesco as Gerard
- Brett Murphy as Ryan
- Andrew Wilson as Grant Wade / Patrick Lyons
Several Boston Red Sox personnel make appearances in the film, including: players Johnny Damon, Trot Nixon, Jason Varitek and Jim Rice, and announcers Joe Castiglione, Don Orsillo and Dennis Eckersley.
The original plot had assumed the Red Sox would lose in the playoffs. However, the Sox stunned the baseball world when they won four straight games to win the 2004 ALCS against the rival Yankees (becoming the first MLB team to win a seven-game series after losing the first three games) and subsequent World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals to break the "Curse of the Bambino." Thus, the ending had to be rewritten. On the day of Game 4, with the Red Sox on the verge of a sweep, The Farrellys decided to bring Barrymore, Fallon, and a film crew to St. Louis hours before the first pitch – and Barrymore and Fallon attended the game at Busch Stadium in character. When the Red Sox made the final out to secure a 3-0 win over the Cardinals that broke the Curse, FOX cameras on the live broadcast caught Barrymore and Fallon, as Lindsey and Ben, running onto the field and kissing to celebrate. The film, with its updated ending, was also screened at Fenway Park the following August as a screen was set up in center field.
Originally, Shawn Levy, who was a huge fan of Nick Hornby's works for years, was attached to direct, with Gwyneth Paltrow playing Lindsey. However, Paltrow found the script mediocre and turned down the role. Brian Robbins replaced Levy, but he quit the project as well. After Drew Barrymore replaced Paltrow and Jimmy Fallon joined the cast, Jay Russell, P.J. Hogan, Luke Greenfield, and Mira Nair were all rumored candidates to direct until the studios hired the Farrelly brothers to take the helm for the film.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film had an average rating of 65%, based on 189 reviews, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The site's critical consensus read, "While not a home run, Fever Pitch has enough charm and on-screen chemistry between the two leads to make it a solid hit." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 56 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
The film opened at #3 and grossed $12.4 million in its opening weekend. The final North American gross of the film was $42,071,069, and the worldwide gross was $50,451,307.
|Fever Pitch: Music from the Motion Picture|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||April 26, 2005|
- The Standells – "Dirty Water"
- Dropkick Murphys – "Tessie"
- Tears for Fears – "Who Killed Tangerine?"
- Popium – "Sooner or Later"
- Ivy – "Thinking About You"
- Nick Drake – "Northern Sky"
- Marah – "My Heart Is the Bums on the Street"
- Steve Wynn – "Second Best"
- The J. Geils Band – "Whammer Jammer" (Live Version)
- The Human League – "(Keep Feeling) Fascination"
- Chic – "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)"
- Joe Pernice – "Moonshot Manny"
- Jonathan Richman – "As We Walk to Fenway Park in Boston Town"
- Mad Larry – "Window Pane"
- Hurricane Smith – "Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?"
- "Fever Pitch (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
- "Fever Pitch: Produced By". IMDb. 2005.
- Pastorek, Whitney (November 12, 2004). "Sox Change". Entertainment Weekly.
- You can watch Fever Pitch at Fenway in August Boston Globe via Boston.com
- "Can Hornby Remake Bring Fever Pitch to Baseball?". Telegraph.
- "Gwyneth Paltrow". NotStarring.com.
- "Robbins Catches Pitch from FOX". Variety. 2003.
- "Memphis Magazine; Feature". Archived from the original on 2010-05-31.
- "Hogan and Barrymore Up for Fever Pitch". MovieHole.net. Archived from the original on 2016-08-22. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
- "Fever Pitch Miscellaneous Notes". TCM.
- "Fever Pitch (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- "Fever Pitch reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
- "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Archived from the original on 2015-04-05.
- Ebert, Roger (April 8, 2005). "Fever Pitch by Roger Ebert". RogerEbert.com. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 14, 2008.
- Berardinelli, James (2005). "Fever Pitch - A Film Review by James Berardinelli". ReelViews.com. Retrieved April 14, 2008.
- "Fever Pitch: Music from the Motion Picture". Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "Fever Pitch (2005) – Soundtracks – IMDb".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fever Pitch (2005 film).|