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Fever Pitch (1997)

Cast: Colin Firth, Ruth Gemmell, Peter Quince, more...
Director: David Evans
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Lions Gate
Genre: Comedies, Foreign, British Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Sports Comedy, UK, Sports, Sports Comedy
Running Time: 102 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

A football fan tries to reconcile his obsessive love of the game with his job, his romantic relationships, and his life in general in this comedy/drama. Since he was a child in North London, Paul Ashworth (Colin Firth) has been a loyal fan of the Arsenal football team; he attended many a match with his father as a child, especially after his parents divorced, and Arsenal's annual season is one of the few emotional anchors in his life. Now in his mid-30s, Paul teaches English at a state-run school and has become involved with Sarah (Ruth Gemmell), a fellow member of the school staff. While she's pretty, bright, and in nearly all ways a good catch, Sarah doesn't care for football. This lack of interest unfortunately shows itself at a time when Arsenal seems poised to win their first championship in 18 years, and Paul hopes to buy a house near their stadium to make it easier to attend home games. When Sarah becomes pregnant and the long-term stability of their relationship becomes a crucial issue, she forces Paul to decide what he loves more: Sarah and their baby, or Arsenal? For Paul, the answer isn't as simple as one might imagine, as he weighs the joys and responsibilities of adulthood against the passionate enthusiasm that sustained him through his youth. Fever Pitch was based on the semi-autobiographical book by Nick Hornby, who has a cameo as a football coach. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

He shoots, and misses! by mjeanes February 22, 2005 - 8:30 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This film misses every opportunity it has to make the point it needs to be making. Watching soccer rule the life of the protagonist to such an extent that he fails to make any meaningful human connection with other people outside of the world of sport would be deeply sad if his character weren't redeemed at every turn by the juvenile wish-fulfillment that a boy can have his football and everything else too. Instead of playing the story for the schlocky "man-child finally grows up and gives up his boyhood love of soccer for a more adult life" angle, or the "man is unable to live in a world outside of his obsessive fascination with soccer that is akin to an addiction", it takes an even more muddled and banal route. It's okay to be a man-child, women will still fall for you, your life will ebb and flow like the teams you follow, and everything in your life will somehow relate to soccer. I have no doubt this would play better in a book, but on screen and with this translation, it's a miserable missed opportunity. And those looking for a cheap thrill should go elsewhere--there is nothing even remotely approaching the shot on the DVD cover in the film.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.57)
28 Votes
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Soccer Movies: From A to Zzzz.
The goallllllllll of this list is to collect the soccer-themed movies out on DVD, of which there are relatively few and even less that are "great." But many are worthy films for fans of the "beautiful game." UPDATED: JUNE '10 for World Cup.
An extra in the movie adaptation of your life
Pavement put it often feels a bit sad, or a bit cheap, but then again if you're making the film of someone's life and they're still around, it's a little rude not to put them in.

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