Have a Ball

Short reviews of movies playing throughout the Tampa Bay area

click to enlarge Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore in Fever Pitch - Darren Michaels
Darren Michaels
Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore in Fever Pitch

Without looking at the credits of Fever Pitch, you'd probably never know this was directed by gross-out kings Bobby and Peter Farrelly (There's Something about Mary, Kingpin, et al). There are a handful of gags involving Farrellian fave topics like vomit and testicles, but this is otherwise a surprisingly conventional and sweet-natured romantic comedy, all but devoid of the shock tactics, low humor and high concepts of most of the brothers' output.

Former SNL funnyman Jimmy Fallon stars as a mild-mannered Boston schoolteacher, whose seasonal transformation into a rabid Red Sox fan threatens his budding relationship with a pretty young professional (Drew Barrymore). It's all fairly predictable stuff but it goes down fairly easy, thanks largely to some brisk direction by the Farrellys, who imbue the proceedings with their typical respect for working class authenticity and pepper the script with just enough clever dialogue and amusing jokes. The main problem here is Fallon, who's far better than he was in Taxi but still looks like someone who simply can't carry a movie. Fallon is both funny and likeable in Fever Pitch, but with such a limited emotional range and so lacking in depth that it's hard to believe anything we watch him going through. Also stars Jason Spevack, Jack Kehler and Ione Skye.

Fever Pitch (PG-13), opens April 8 at local theaters. 1/2

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