Picks and Pans Review: Fever Pitch

UPDATED 04/18/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/18/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

ROMANTIC COMEDY

Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon

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Sports widows, here's a movie that directly addresses your plight with humor, compassion and understanding. See if you can relate: Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. But Boy also loves the Boston Red Sox. Whom does he love more?

Ben Wrightman (Fallon), a math teacher in Beantown, falls for Lindsey Meeks (Barrymore), a business consultant, but remains fanatical about attending BoSox baseball games. She keeps hoping he will figure out there's more to life than sports. "All those things you feel for that team, I feel them too," she says, "but for you."

An Americanized adaptation of Englishman Nick Hornby's autobiography about his ardor for soccer, Fever Pitch is directed with uncharacteristic restraint by brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly (There's Something About Mary). The film is uneven—there are draggy sections and cutesey-poo bits—but much of it is sweetly funny and there are moments of genuine honesty and wisdom about adult relationships. Barrymore coasts on her sympathetic charm in a role similar to ones she has played before. The puppyish Fallon proves irritating early on but grows on you, which may be the point.(PG-13)

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