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Fever Pitch

Movies | The Farrelly brothers latest effort falls short in both humor and romance

Issue: "Rick Santorum: Penn Station," April 30, 2005

Since the Farrelly brothers are best known for Dumb and Dumber, they could have called their new directorial product, Fever Pitch, "Obsessed and More Obsessed." In it, a businesswoman fighting for her next promotion (Drew Barrymore) falls in love with a schoolteacher who is a Boston Red Sox fanatic (Jimmy Fallon).

Today's other big pair of filmmaking brothers, the Coens, might have used this plot to explore the nature of career and sports obsessions as alternative religions, and to raise the question of what holes in the soul they fill. The Farrellys make lighter movies, and that's fine, but this one falls short in both humor and romance, with Ms. Barrymore in particular woodenly swinging and missing. (She does recite well one good line: "All those things you feel for that team. I feel them, too, for you.")

Fever Pitch has moments that bring tears to the eyes of Red Sox fans and a spirited Fenway Park scene of romantic reconciliation near the end, but it doesn't offer much more than that. It is unlikely to have huge appeal outside of New England, especially since its PG-13 rating (for crude and sexual humor, and some sensuality) labels the filmmakers as dumb and dumber.

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Why take a movie that could have been good for family viewing and have the two main characters, unmarried, rolling around in bed? R-rated body parts aren't showing, but the dad sitting behind me in the theater still had to fib to his kindergarten-age children. "I got it," Ms. Barrymore says at one point, referring to her period that belatedly commenced after a pregnancy scare. The dad said she got her promotion.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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