The Perfect Catch
A comedy about the game of love.
Running Time: 103 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: PG
Country: United States
When Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore) finds out that her new beau Ben (Jimmy Fallon) is a big-time Boston Red Sox fan, her response is music to his ears. Youre a romantic with a lyrical soul, she tells him. You can live under the best and worst conditions. Exactly! Shes got it in one. THAT, peeps, is why sports fans are the best sort of people. But just try reminding her of that a few weeks down the line when the seasons started and those carefree weekend barbecues have turned into afternoons of sitting in the stands yelling mindless abuse at the oppositions best player. Oh yes, its a different story then, isnt it? Well, ISNT IT??
Ben and Lindseys problem in Fever Pitch is a familiar one, particularly if youve ever read Nick Hornbys book of the same name or seen the disappointing 1997 adaptation starring Colin Firth. This American attempt at transferring Hornbys cult favourite to the big screen is less faithful to the source material than Firths effort (most notably in the switch from football/soccer to baseball), but its also far more successful.
Here, Barrymore and Fallon make a believable couple with the effect that, when their relationship starts to go tits-up, youve got enough invested in it to actually care. In fact, from a Fallon point of view its even good enough to exorcise the still-lingering ghost of last years appalling Taxi (although Barrymore still has a lot of work to do if shes after forgiveness for inflicting not one but TWO Charlies Angels movies upon us). And, for a movie hinging so intrinsically upon the fortunes of a perennially-losing baseball side, its perhaps ironic that it has such a strong winning team pulling the strings behind-the-scenes. After all, directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly are among the best comedy helmsmen in the business, and writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel previously penned the likes of Splash. Parenthood and even the occasional episode of Happy Days. Their finished product might not quite hit a home run, but its certainly got a lot of its bases covered.
It's Got: A fresh enough premise to avoid throwing in too many clichés.
It Needs: Some more romantic leeway for us poor misunderstood sports fans.
An entertaining rom-com about a relationship in need of a sporting chance.