By Vince Palomarez | Image property of 20th Century Fox
Red Sox fans had to wait close to a century for
the curse of the bambino to finally be broken; hopefully the Farrelly brothers
won't have to wait that long for their curse of finding a good film to follow
up the success of Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About
Mary. Too bad they aren't really off to the best start having made
such duds as Me, Myself & Irene, Shallow Hall (hey don't
get me wrong I'm a Jack Black fan like everyone else, but this move was
just bad) and their most recent film, Fever Pitch starring Jimmy
Fallon and Drew Barrymore.
Based on the book by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy) the film stars Fallon as Ben, a high school math teacher and die hard Red Sox fan who must juggle his love for the Red Sox with his love for Lindsey (Barrymore), a workaholic trying to find balance in her life after a series of bad relationships. Just like with all romantic comedies things start out great, but once the season begins the chink in their armor of love begins to become exposed and hilarity ensues….if only it were that easy.
This film just can't seem to find its identity. In one vein it is a love
story between two polar opposites who somehow make it work, the other a
goofy comedy about a man obsessed with baseball and the actions he takes
to be that obsessive. Throughout the course of this film neither side can
find the perfect balance to make it work. One of its biggest weaknesses
is the acting in the film. Jimmy Fallon is a rookie when it comes to making
romantic comedies and it really shows here. Throughout Fever Pitch
he looks lost and some of his lines feel forced. He gives it his best though,
but that's not enough and it really affects Barrymore. While she is an established
actress, she tends to do better when working with an experienced actor and
while she puts in a great effort there seems to be no chemistry between
the two. You know it gets bad when you start noticing the performances of
the extras in the background and even that wasn't great (there's a funny
scene with a couple in the background of outdoor restaurant that will prove
my point if you notice it). The only time Fallon seems to shine is when
he is on his own and not bogged down trying to make his relationship work.
The Farrelley's used to be the masters at slapstick
comedy and random acts, but they have really lost their edge as of late.
A lot of the gags in Fever Pitch seem too forced and predictable
and while some will get the occasional chuckle, most of them fall flat and
have just been done better. The Farrelly's need to go back and make the
crazy random comedy and let the romantic part evolve naturally, they try
to hard in this film and everything just seems so fake.
If I had the option to either pay full price to see Fever Pitch,
go see a matinee or rent it I would have to go with "wait for a friend to
buy it and borrow it from them so you can say you never paid to see this
film". This film could've had so much promise, but mediocre acting and a
weak execution of an original idea plague this film from the start. If you
are a die hard Red Sox fan and want to relive some of the magic of last
seasons miracle run you might find some enjoyment of this, everyone else