The Perfect Catch

The Perfect Catch
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon, KaDee Strickland, JoBeth Williams, James Sikking
Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Screenplay: Lowell Ganz & Bambaloo Mandel
Genre: Romance/Comedy
Rated: M sexual reference,
Running Time: 103 Minutes

A Comedy About The Game Of Love

The Farrelly Brothers ('There's Something About Mary', 'Dumb & Dumber') take a slight departure from their signature breed of over-the-top, gross-out humour and opt instead for sensitive restraint with this genuinely sweet love story. Credit is due in part to the writing team of Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (SPANGLISH) who adapt Nick Hornby's popular British novel, moving it to Boston and exchanging the protagonist's obsession with soccer for an all-consuming love of baseball.

Ever since his first childhood visit to Fenway Park, easygoing schoolteacher Ben (Jimmy Fallon) has been in love with the Boston Red Sox. When he meets a successful workaholic named Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), he warns her that being such an avid fan has been a problem in his past relationships. On the brink of turning 30, Lindsey is eager to make what seems like an otherwise promising romance work, and she agrees to go with Ben to opening day (of the eventful 2004 season when the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years).

My Verdict:
In 'The Perfect Catch', schoolteacher Ben (Jimmy Fallon) meets career-minded Lindsey (Drew Barrymore) after taking a few of his more talented students to her workplace to gain an insight into the corporate (and mathematical) world. Sparks fly and Ben soon asks Lindsey on a date which is a disaster but he persists and they soon become a couple. Lindsey's sceptical girlfriends don't think that the relationship will last as Ben is totally obsessed about his beloved baseball team, the Boston Redsox, and Lindsey is busy climbing the corporate ladder. If they are to stay together as a team, something or someone will have to give.

This movie focuses on two people's obsessions, one with their work and the other with their leisure/hobby and explores the possibility of the two becoming compatible.

'The Perfect Catch' is a very predictable romantic comedy that doesn't break any new ground - we've seen it all before, but many will be able to identify with men's (often) obsessive behaviour when it comes to supporting their favourite sporting team, often displaying dedication to the extreme. In this case, Ben's life revolves around the sporting calendar; his every move dictated when his team is playing and his house a shrine with memorabilia and paraphernalia from his beloved team. Jimmy Fallon plays the role well and is very believable as the sports nut and his "real" job as a school teacher and his deadpan comic timing is usually spot on, notably becoming a highlight.

It is Drew Barrymore as the career climbing Lindsey that doesn't even come close to credibility. She just doesn't come across as a work freak and for someone who is supposed to have job savoir-faire, she spends a lot of time shuffling papers on her desk as if she is totally disorganised. Sure, she's sweet and there is chemistry between her and Fallon, but as far as being a savvy businesswoman, she's just doesn't cut it and it is this aspect that lets the film down badly.

'The Perfect Catch' really just goes through the motions, although there are some humorous lines that are deserving of a laugh, but not quite enough to save this movie from becoming yet another run of the mill romantic comedy.

Rating : **

Christina Bruce