Parents' Guide to

Fever Pitch (1997)

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Romantic sports comedy has language, sexual references.

Movie R 1999 102 minutes
Fever Pitch movie poster

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Adapted for the screen from his own novel by British writer Nick Hornby, this autobiographical tale about an obsessive soccer fan was remade into a similar story about a baseball fanatic in 2005. This original version of Fever Pitch finds Firth and Gemmell in the lead roles and the film is rewarded with good chemistry between the pair. Their performances and some quick-witted dialogue are enough to carry its slightly uneven story about a man trying to grow up and find a balance between his love of sport and the woman in his life.

Of the two of them, Firth's Paul is the better-drawn character, with Gemmell's Ruth largely passive. The movie also leaves unanswered the question it poses in one scene about whether some women truly share their partner's passions, or are forced to take an interest to have something more in common with them. Penning the story around the dramatic end to the 1989 first division English soccer season does at least kit out Fever Pitch with a climactic ending, though, while some laughs are also thrown in along the way.

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