Fever Pitch, based on Nick Hornby’s wonderful memoirs about growing up and growing older as an Arsenal supporter, is the new movie by Rhode Island’s biggest Boston sports fans, the Farrelly brothers. It’s an amiable though cloying mediocrity, with the movie’s best moments evoking the mania and devotion of Red Sox fans (and more enjoyably, groans from YF seated next to me).
Unfortunately for the actors, the movie is at it’s best when peppered with supporting Bosox paraphenalia (where did the Farrellys dig up a copy of the "Impossible Dream" LP?!) and at it’s worst when the annoying Jimmy Fallon and the vapid Drew Barrymore actually have to read lines. I don’t think the movie deserves too much space, but I wish they hadn’t named it "Fever Pitch" – the film does no justice whatsoever to Hornby’s moving and emotionally vivid work. The original British version (with Colin Firth and Arsenal as the focus) is a tad better but similarly reductive.
In the end, there can be no doubt about who has played the best mentally retarded baseball obsessive in a Farrelly production, and it’s not Fallon. It’s W. Earl Brown.
Verdict: 2 out of 5 Baseballs