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Saturday, April 09, 2005
CATCH THE FEVER

Well, I think I showed remarkable restraint. With a new feature film opening this weekend about a love story set in Red Sox Nation, I waited until well into the second night to see it.

You might think I'd be embarassed to admit how much fun I had watching Fever Pitch, but that tells me more about you than me. It tells me you also don't know who No. 8 is, or why the real Wailing Wall is actually a Monstrous Green, or who The Spaceman was. It just makes me sad for you.

I really enjoyed Fever Pitch, but I kept getting distracted by a couple thoughts though the whole movie:

1) Would anybody who isn't a Bosox fan find this film half as exhilerating as I do? (The L.A. audience was laughing hard and a lot...but I suspect the theater held, like me, a lot of ex-pat Red Sox fans. People were just too gleeful when Derek Jeeter struck out...)

2) Wow, if the Sox hadn't won the World Series last year, this movie would really kind of suck, like so many Red Sox seasons.

I think it's intriguing - and probably too revealing - that the premarital sex in the film didn't bother me because I was having so much fun watching all the Red Sox stuff. I remember once someone asked me if I could choose between a Papal audience and Red Sox World Series tickets which I would choose. The answer was a confused, "There will always be Popes..." Among my nephew, John Thomas' first complete sentences when he was three was the trith, "The Yankees are arrogant." Once when I was dating a non-Catholic, it became very clear to me that my RI-based family would be much more open to me marrying a Presbyterian than a Yankee fan. (Are you having fun yet? I am!)

Beyond having a lot of heart, this film is fun and occasionally very funny. I think Drew Barrymore's comic sensibility just keeps getting better, and I love how she isn't afraid to put herself completely out there, looking goofy for a laugh. There is that familiar "ambivalence about what we are supposed to want here" in the third act that I have come to expect in every Gen X romantic comedy, but it doesn't last too long, and the fun starts up again through the end. Parents should be warned that there is a premarital sex as way of life problem in the storyline, but the film has several very positive portrayals of happy marriage as well.

This is a must see for citizens of Red Sox Nation. Other kinds of humans (could it really be a fully human life?!) who enjoy romantic comedies will have fun too.

It was a hit for me...not a home run, but a solid triple.