Ben (Jimmy Fallon) has grown up “to be one of the most pathetic of creatures: a Boston Red Sox fan.” When his father died and his mom moved him to Boston, his Uncle Carl started taking him to Fenway Park. There Ben learned about the Big Green Monster and all the lore about the Sox, especially, the curse of the Bambino. His best friends were the other fans who held the same season tickets, year after year.
About a year before the Sox won the Series (2004), Ben, a teacher, meets Lindsey (Drew Barrymore) a financial analyst, when he takes a group of students to visit her company for a career day. They are attracted to one another and soon Ben invites her to a game. His uncle left him his two seats when he died, and Ben lets Lindsey know what a privilege it is for him to invite her.
Ben’s apartment looks like a Red Sox museum, his social life is dictated by the Red Sox home game schedule, and his friends are all fans, too. When it’s baseball season, Ben cannot think of anything else. He tells Lindsey, as they grow closer, that he is afraid he will lose her, like he loses all the girls, because of his Red Sox fanaticism. Lindsey is a workaholic, so she says they are well-matched. And they are, until things get complicated in the usual way of contemporary romantic comedies (an object lesson here on relationships and the benefit of chastity before marriage…)
Jimmy Fallon is very sweet in his role as Ben, and Drew Barrymore is, too, as the career girl. Fever Pitch is based on a novel byNick Hornby (About a Boy – one of my favorite movies) and though directed by the oft times scuzzy Farrelley Brothers, Fever Pitch only gets puerile a few times. It’s so right on about Red Sox fans and it made me laugh.
Our main convent for the Daughters of St. Paul in the US and Toronto is in Boston. Last fall, during the playoffs between the Red Sox and the Yankees, the Sisters put a prayer kneeler for the convent Yankee fans at the back of the large conference hall where they gathered to watch the game – and beside the kneeler, two large candles. Four of the Sisters were from New York City, and the rest of the community wanted them to know that the Yankees didn’t have a prayer – but they could try if they wanted.
Sister Mary Paula Kolar is our resident Red Sox fan; knowing her gave all the more meaning to Fever Pitch. She is also our resident poet laureate and so she just had to write a poem about the Red Sox winning the World Series – finally!
HAPPINESS IS EVERYWHERE
A TRIBUTE TO THE RED SOX BASEBALL TEAM –
WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS – OCTOBER 27, 2004
by Sister Mary Paula Kolar, fsp. 10/28/04
Happiness is everywhere,
felt and voiced, it fills the air.
All around and all about,
hearts rejoice, give thanks and shout.
We live the prized reality,
the wondrous truth of TROPHY won,
By loved RED SOX for what they’ve done!
Curse (?!), doubts, predictions, odds, defied,
what SOX achieved can’t be denied!
The faith they kept, always believed.
Immortalized, this FEAT will gleam
as truth ecstatic, cherished dream!
This team, the whole world does acclaim.
They earned, deserve, their hard-won fame.
Backed by believers, far and wide,
elated hearts, their joy can’t hide.
History’s been made, and time will tell
how this great TEAM came to excel.
With winsome spirit, jovial ways;
they cheered all hearts for many days.
Through dark days did at time appear,
some weary hearts did then know fear.
Brighter days once more did shine.
All knew again, they would do fine;
Hopes renewed, brought better ways,
all doubts dispersed, like misty rays.
Thanks RED SOX FOR A WONDROUS year.
In countless lives that hold you dear,
what you’ve achieved will e’er remain,
in hearts enshrined with your great name.
Sister Mary Paula Kolar, the Poet Laureate of the Daughters of St. Paul!