Sunday, April 24, 2005

Fever Pitch

Fever Pitch is pitch-perfect! Hooray to Jimmy Fallon for finally finding the right vehicle for his comedic gift.

Fallon is Ben, the schoolteacher who falls in love with Lindsey, a mega-workaholic financial analyst, whose passion in life is to crunch numbers in various degrees of stressed conditions. How they meet and fall in love - gradual, sincere and inspired, make for a funny yet thoughtful and thoroughly affecting romance.

Based on Nick Hornby’s book (he also wrote High Fidelity), Fever Pitch is the story of Ben (Jimmy Fallon) whose passion for the Boston Red Sox stretches to fanatical obsession thus inadvertently getting in the way of his love life until he meets Lindsey Meeks. And Lindsey, whose preoccupation with her work have virtually held her stuck to her office chair, welcomed Ben’s entry to her life as a wonderful break until she realizes that something is seriously not normal with Ben.

When asked what his priorities in life are, Ben puts Red Sox over and above everything else; his bedroom is like a souvenir shop on Fenway Park.

The conflicts that arise from the blossoming romance are sensibly written and logically presented. The sometimes funny, sometimes dispiriting series of breakups and making ups are not tiring however because you are rooting for love to conquer their seeming differences and allow the lovers to eventually realize how much they mean to each other: that no work or red sox can and should get in the way of that.

This Farrelly Brothers romantic comedy is a big departure from the usual grossed-out and politically incorrect comedies they are more popularly known for although there is no denying that this is their movie: the usual cast of colorful supporting characters who have a fair share of screen time and dialogue people this movie as well as the refreshing and distinctive use of old songs in the soundtrack.

They also had the luck of filming this movie during the victorious 2004 season of the Red Sox. They may have changed a couple of finale sequences to accomodate the turn of events during the season but luckily for them the rapturous and massive euphoria of the championship as captured in the climax added several dimension to the small victory of love that magically gave Ben’s life a whole new purpose outside of Fenway Park.

And, so, thus Fever Pitch, a well-written and wonderfully acted film, ends in triumph for both the cursed Red Sox and the never-again loveless Ben.

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