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The Perfect Catch
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The Perfect Catch – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Boston mathematics teacher Ben (Fallon) takes a group of his pupils on a field trip to visit a local business leader, Lindsey (Barrymore), who uses maths in her everyday work.
He’s instantly smitten by her, but too shy to approach her until one of his pupils dares him to.
Soon, the couple are dating. He seems to be the perfect man – until the baseball season starts – then the Red Sox come first – above sex and even breathing.
Lindsey tries to be as grown-up as she can about his childish addiction to the game, but it’s not easy.
She has to challenge how much she really loves him and he has to challenge how much he really loves baseball.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

If this sounds at all familiar to Nick Hornby’s book Fever Pitch (or for those less literate, the Colin Firth film of the same name), it’s because this was conceived as the Hollywood version of the book, with football replaced by baseball.
In America, this remake was called Fever Pitch – here, they chickened out and hoped that by changing the title, we wouldn’t realise it was the same story.
This title is certainly cute – unfortunately, the film isn’t. There’s no real sense that this is a couple that’s meant to be together. Jimmy Fallon is surely too knowingly whacky to be attractive to women. And Drew Barrymore is all over the place – trying to be all things to all men: I know many men would love it if their girlfriends joined them at the game…but taking their laptops with them?
They both have sets of friends so irritating that you wish they’d all get knocked out by a baseball.
The film is about as mainstream as you can get – far from the edgy comedy you’d expect from the Farrelly Brothers.
And just how did one of the best teams of writers in Hollywood, responsible for the likes of Parenthood and City Slickers, take a Nick Hornby’s book, that’s already been made into a moderately successful film, and turn it into such mindless and banal nonsense?
That said – and here’s the frustrating thing – somehow, no matter how corny the film is, particularly as it edges towards the most predictable of endings, it succeeds in pulling the Hollywood wool over our eyes, ratcheting up the tension, pushing us to the edges of our seats and manipulating our emotions exactly the way it wants to. Maybe Ganz, Mandel and the Farrellys do know what they’re doing afterall.

Opens nationwide on 12th August 2005

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