Related Articles: Movies, All

Fever Pitch

Lost In Translation

When the 18% of Americans that own passports venture across the nation's border, it's safe to say they're not the most popular bunch. Quite simply, citizens of the United States have acquired a reputation for being oblivious to the idea that ways of thinking other than their own exist. And while this phenomenon is frequently exaggerated, movies like Fever Pitch remind us that this stereotype is rooted in truth.

Though the film is based on Nick Hornby's memoir of growing up in England obsessed with the local soccer club Arsenal, someone important didn't believe Americans possessed the wealth of experience needed to allow them to relate to such an alternate reality. So in lieu of soccer and Arsenal, we're presented with baseball and the Boston Red Sox. Granted, the US elected Bush its fearless leader, but we cannot have become so provincial that everything must be Americanized before it's consumed.

Even more problematic however is that the underlying romance does little to buttress the sporting themes. Jimmy Fallon's portrayal of an obsessive fan consists of a perpetual twitchiness that points to excessive caffeine consumption rather than a love affair with Fenway Park. And predictably, Drew Barrymore, playing the likable love interest, relies solely on her cherubic charm to illustrate worthiness as a mate.

Couple this with a storyline that never has the courage to depart from the dated tricks movies use to tug at the heartstrings of viewers, and we have something eminently nondescript. At one point, Barrymore confesses to Fallon that she's late, which he of course confuses with tardiness. No one else does, however, because we've seen this setup too many times before. And of course, the movie finishes by having the entire world -- literally, in this case -- pause so that the two lovers of destiny have a moment to profess their perfect love. Two words: played out.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars