Ben teaches advance-placement math, which is why he and his high school students visit the office of Lindsey Meeks, a woman who routinely uses her math education in her career. Sparks fly, and soon Ben and Lindsey are dating.
But as springtime approaches, Lindsey learns something new about Ben: He’s a rabid Boston Red Sox fan. Rabid as in his entire apartment is one large shrine. Rabid as in his bed sheets and boxer shorts have Bosox logos on them. Rabid as in he turns down a free trip to Paris with her because the Sox are playing the Yankees that weekend.
Lindsey, despite the demands of her high-powered job, makes an attempt to learn more about baseball in general and the Red Sox in particular. Ben ... well, Ben doesn’t do much of anything at first. But as the Sox head toward winning the American League pennant and possibly the World Series, he finds that his obsession is causing him to lose Lindsey. Something must give.
Both Ben and Lindsey learn that any relationship involves give and take—and sometimes extreme sacrifice. He helps her when she’s sick and even cleans her toilet. And he comes to realize that his obsession with the Red Sox has become unhealthy. Despite the huge disparity between her salary and Ben’s, Lindsey ignores her friends’ suggestions that Ben is beneath her.
Ben says Red Sox fans are “God’s most pathetic creatures.” Ben crosses himself before a picture of Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski. He gives up going to a game against the hated New York Yankees to attend a party with Lindsey—the first home game he’s missed in 26 years—but when he hears the Sox won with a spectacular ninth-inning rally, he says missing the game is “like punishment from God.” Ben inherited his season tickets from his beloved Uncle Carl, and when he contemplates selling them, he looks skyward as if to apologize to his deceased relative.
Most disappointing in what could have been a sweet romantic comedy is the filmmakers’ assumption that boyfriends and girlfriends routinely have sex. Nothing explicit is shown (although one scene has Ben and Lindsey waking up in the same bed), but they joke about “going at it all night,” and we see them passionately kissing as they begin to hurriedly undress one another. While changing Lindsey's clothes for her (she's sick), Ben sneaks a peak at her body. And while looking for her nightdress he finds a pair of skimpy panties. Ben tells Lindsey that he’s made a list of the things he likes about her, the first six items being “body parts.”
Ben jokes that he’s Lindsey’s “houseboy/sex slave”—to her mother, no less. He starts to confide about his sex life to a teen boy before he catches himself. A man eager for some of Ben’s season tickets offers his wife as a sexual favor. (Ben assumes he’s joking, but the man assures him he’s not.) Ben claims his top three priorities are “the Red Sox, sex and breathing,” and he says that if he needs money, he'll "call an old lady and give her sweet loving.”
A fan shouts a crude insult about oral sex at an umpire. A man jokes about dancing around in his wife’s panties. A TV announcer mentions that female Red Sox fans are dancing topless in the streets. Lindsey and another woman wear low-cut tops in a gym. There are more than a few "boob" jokes, testicle jokes, double entendres and innuendoes. Ben jokes that he’s rented a DVD of “animated Japanese porn.”
All the violence is played for laughs. Forgetting that he’s playing touch football, Ben roughly knocks several players to the ground. He throws a football in the school hallway, hitting another teacher's head. Lindsey absentmindedly allows a woman to fall off a climbing wall. A woman working out with a punching bag loses her temper and punches a friend square in the face. Lindsey is knocked out by a foul ball. Ben slaps a student on the back of the head for making a smart-aleck remark.
Crude or Profane Language
Three uses each of the s-word and “a--.” One use each of “d--n,” “h---“ and “b--ch.” God’s name is interjected more than a dozen times.
Drug and Alcohol Content
A teen boy jokes that he wants a vodka martini. Ben’s Uncle Carl smokes huge cigars, and other characters smoke cigarettes. Several scenes show wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages being consumed at dinners, parties and at the ballpark. Ben jokes that his students are rambunctious because “their drugs just kicked in.”
Other Negative Elements
Several teens mouth off to Ben; they must have learned it from him, because in front of the students, he mockingly mouths off about the principal when the man is not looking. He also blames a boy who happens to be walking by for hitting a teacher with a football. There are vomiting jokes and sound effects.
After a pregnancy scare, Ben expresses disappointment that Lindsey isn’t going to have a baby, showing no concern for bringing an out-of-wedlock child into the world. (At least the situation's not reversed, though. It would be much worse if she was pregnant and he was trying to push her into an abortion.)
Fever Pitch is a formulaic boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-wins-girl-back romantic comedy. Still, Ben is a real gentleman, and it feels perfectly natural that Lindsey falls for his goofy authenticity. And considering the fact that the Farrelly brothers are at its helm, the movie is short on crude gross-out humor. But ...
Viewers getting the positive lesson about mutual sacrifice in a relationship also get the message that premarital sex is to be taken for granted. That and some crude sexual joking and profanity ultimately send this film to the wide side of the foul pole.