A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Being part of a community, following your passion, caring about others. Learning to communicate and compromise with others.
Positive Role Models
Paul is blunt, immature, sometimes lazy, and takes an unorthodox approach to his work as a schoolteacher. But he is also shown to care about others. However, he is obsessed with soccer to the point where it limits his personal interactions and relationships. Ruth is hardworking and dedicated to her job, but also struggles with personal relationships.
The main cast, writer, and director are all White and British. Gender balanced main cast but little diversity. Dated cliches about only men liking soccer. Women judged on their appearance by men. Discussion about whether male characters are sexist. Snobbery shown toward those living outside of a city.
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Violence & Scariness
Joking references to soccer hooligans. Chants about violence. References to and footage shown of a real-life tragedy in which soccer fans died. Character intimidated by boisterous soccer crowds.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing, reference to having sex. Character shown bare-shouldered in bed, covered by duvet. Couple lie in bed together. No graphic nudity. Discussion about pregnancy and abortion.
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Language used includes "bollocks," "f--k," "f---ing," "bastard," "crap," "sod off," "poxy," "s--t," and "t-ts." "Jesus" used as an exclamation. "Cow" used to insult a woman. People from outside London referred to as "country bumpkins."
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Products & Purchases
Discussion about earning money versus pursuing a career you love. Character dismisses the idea of money being linked to happiness. Characters talk about needing more money to support their lifestyle, but are not materialistic.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol in moderation. Someone drinks and smokes while pregnant, but is criticized for it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fever Pitch is a British romantic sports comedy -- with strong language, smoking, and sexual references -- based on an autobiographical novel by Nick Hornby. Set in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s, Paul Ashworth (Colin Firth) is a London secondary school teacher who struggles to reconcile his lifelong love of soccer with his romantic relationships. This includes fellow teacher Sarah Hughes (Ruth Gemmell). Paul does his best to care about others but is frequently undone by his selfish tendencies. There is little diversity and some dated discussions about gender roles, with the movie showing very few female soccer fans. Paul and Ruth are shown in bed together but with no graphic nudity. As part of their relationship, Paul and Ruth discuss whether to have a child, which includes them talking about pregnancy and abortion. Violence doesn't feature, although there are some references to injury and death. Language is strong and constant, with frequent use of both "f--k" and "f---ing." Characters also drink and smoke frequently, including a pregnant woman. The film was remade in 2005 but was set in the U.S. and featured a baseball fanatic as opposed to a soccer fan. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.