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'FEVER PITCH' HITS A DOUBLE

Fever Pitch *** (out of four)

PG-13

"Fever! In the morning, fever all through the night -- you give me fever." The new movie "Fever Pitch" may not stir a fire inside you, but as movies -- especially romantic comedies -- go, it's darn entertaining. To play on the baseball jargon that the movie's title employs, "Fever Pitch" hits at least a double.

"Fever Pitch" introduces us to Lindsey (Drew Barrymore of "Charlie's Angels" and "Never Been Kissed"), a successful businesswoman seeking even further promotion, and Ben (Jimmy Fallon of "Taxi" and "Saturday Night Live"), a school math teacher. Despite their difference, they hit it off and have a great relationship -- until Lindsey discovers why Ben's not "snatched up yet" -- his Red Sox obsession. The film (based on Nick Hornby's novel of the same title) chronicles the struggle between the couple's new love and Ben's longtime love of the Red Sox.

Thanks to the Farelly brothers, directors of such goofy movies as "Dumb and Dumber", "Kingpin" and "There's Something About Mary," "Fever Pitch" makes for an engaging hour and a half, with never a dull moment and many out-loud laughs. So maybe the premise is a little cutesy, but at least it is well-done -- the romance mixed with good comedic sense and the serious question of how to make a relationship work. Of course, baseball lovers -- Red Sox fans especially -- and romantics will see the film "through rose-colored glasses." Overall, "Fever Pitch" is fun to watch; it is easy to fall for the characters and end up rooting for the relationship (and the Sox) to win out.

The film's focus is solidly on Lindsey and Ben, though there are several small roles. For the most part, Fallon shows his softer side while retaining his comedic sense in his role as Ben. However, he definitely has his off moments, in which it seems like he wants to laugh or make a joke but knows he can't because it's still a romance and not "Saturday Night Live."

Barrymore, as usual, is a charming and believable. She seems totally at ease and in tune with her character. Granted, Lindsey is not much different from the roles she usually plays, but hey, it works. Fallon and Barrymore make an appealing couple, though it is not thanks to physical chemistry so much as their witty repartee, easiness together, and emotional execution that makes the viewer believe they really might have a love that will last.

The advertisements for "Fever Pitch" boast, "A romantic comedy your boyfriend will drag you to!" Actually, this seems to be a valid claim; "Fever Pitch" has the makings of a great date movie. The film is a good compromise because it is very romantic, as most females appreciate, yet thanks to the baseball and frequent shifts to the male perspective, it should still be interesting and easy to relate to for the guy. Plus, it's funny, something almost anyone can appreciate. Just don't fight over whether Ben should have been willing to give up baseball for Lindsey!

"Fever Pitch" is also a good choice for families with older-age children (there are a few references that may be inappropriate for younger ones), because of its appeal to different genders and ages and overall light and pleasant air.

"Fever Pitch" is entertaining. Period. It is no "When Harry Met Sally" or "Love Actually," but it is engaging, fun, amusing, and sweet. It's a romantic comedy that is actually funny -- and isn't that what most of us are looking for, anyway?

Emily Sullivan is a senior at City Honors.