Today: February 28, 2024

Fever Pitch

Based on Nick Hornby’s best selling novel of the same name, Fever Pitch is a love story of two halves. When Paul meets Sarah, he has to try and balance his love for his new girlfriend and the life long love he has had for Arsenal Football Club.

Based on
Nick Hornby’s best selling novel of the same name, Fever Pitch is a love story
of two halves. When Paul meets Sarah, he has to try and balance his love for
his new girlfriend and the life long love he has had for Arsenal Football Club.

Back in 1997 Colin
Firth
was fresh from his career changing role as Mr Darcy in Pride and
Prejudice
. A supporting role in the Oscar winning The English Patient
sealed his pathway to become the charismatic leading man we know today.

Playing a shaggy
haired, beer drinking football fanatic might seem like an odd casting choice,
but anybody who has read the book would agree that Firth is perfectly cast.

Nick Hornby adapts his own book for the big screen, and he
proves a dab hand at it. He didn’t pen another screenplay until 2009’ An
Education
, which saw the writer nominated for his first Academy Award.

The film mostly
takes place during the 1988/89 football season, and a few choice flashbacks
show Paul (Firth) to be utterly obsessed with Arsenal FC. When he meets fellow
school teacher Sarah (Ruth Gemmell), she soon learns that she has to
share him with 11 men and a stadium full of fans.

There is real charm
in how Paul grows out of his man-child ways, and his blossoming relationship is
put through its paces as Sarah tries to be understanding and patient. There are
few romantic comedies that capture the male and female voice so well, and there
are relatable characters for both genders to enjoy.

It’s a very
different role for Firth, in many ways it’s a shame he didn’t do more against
type characters like Paul. The cinema going public is used to seeing the Oscar
winning actor as an upper class gentleman, or girl-fighting with Hugh Grant,
so it’s a real departure to see Firth in a Football shirt drinking and swearing
his head off down the pub.

2005 brought around
the inevitable American remake; The Perfect Catch starred Drew
Barrymore
and Jimmy Fallon, and the sport in question was changed to
Baseball. Whilst it was a bright and glossy romantic comedy, it simply didn’t
do the material justice.

Fever Pitch has
been re-issued on Blu Ray along with many other classic Film Four movies.

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