Barely acceptable even by the extremely formulaic conventions of the romcom. As if it wasn’t insult enough that in the stateside adaptation, Nick Hornby‘s soccer obsession morphed into Red Sox fandom, it’s now demoted to “what’s wrong with this guy” plot hurdle to be taken by lovers Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Falllon. The movie’s at its best (and that’s not saying much) when he’s charming her in act I; all the disappointment over the missed Yankees game or whatnot is ever so much chaff.

What I fail to understand is why anybody would want to mistake these bundles of clichés shoehorned into a preconceived plot for real people. It’s one thing to use cardboard stiffs as an excuse for popcorn action, but shouldn’t a love story center on more or less recognizable, likable, lifelike characters? Instead we get the one-trait-per-person cartoons that, at least since Sex in the City, somehow pass for urban realism but in truth offer less depth and verisimilitude than your average Marvel superhero book. And doesn’t the “comedy” half of it at least suggest the occasional joke?

Fever Pitch. Bobby and Peter Farrelly, 2005. *