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 The Perfect Catch
 Critic's Rating
   [B]
 Date Posted
   4th October, 2005
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Cast: Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon, Jason Spevack
Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Basing a films foundation on a Nick Hornby novel coupled with directors that know how to make good comedies has resulted in movie experiences that are honest about human behaviour and charmingly funny in smart ways. From 'High Fidelity's ' keen insight into a man's troubles with maintaining a steady relationship to the delights of family responsibility in 'About a boy', a Hornby inspired film digs deep and hits hard. 'The perfect catch' is little bit of everything archetypal of such a source and despite not scaling any new heights, is still recommended viewing.

Why? Because it is a surprise of the familiar and the expected. Familiar because it has all the elements of a good romantic comedy and expected because there is a break-up and then a patch-up. In between this is a whole season of baseball games, which may either be an added incentive to watch this, or the very reason to skip it. Those fazed by the fact that all of this makes it sound like one of those sports movies except with a romance angle are advised to give the film a chance and keep reading ahead.

Ben (Jimmy Fallon in a career making role) is the perfect man for Lindsey (Drew Barrymore). He is likeable, dedicated and funny. Lindsey and her girl pals speculate that Ben's being single at thirty is a warning sign for her. She rejects their caution only to find out he has an obsession (which, the more she gets to know him, seems to border on addiction) with the Boston Red Sox, complete with a shrine for a home. She loves him; he loves her AND the sports team. When he has to choose, he can't decide and the script doesn't make this any easier for him, especially when Ben misses watching the single most important win of the team to make Lindsey happy after snubbing her offer of going on a business trip to Paris.

Like most Hornby settings, an element of the male psychosis is light-heartedly on display this time in the form of a fixation with a sports team (or any other human fascination for that matter). Director duo the Farrelly brothers, score points for helming a movie that is a change from their usual gross out humour. All the baseball references are, quite frankly, incomprehensible and the very last scene is so similar in execution and sensational implausibility to another Barrymore film ('Never been kissed') that it felt like homage.

While Fallon doesn't look like much of a geometry teacher, nor Barrymore a businesswoman, they have a delightful, natural appeal whenever together. As the understanding Lindsey, she hits all the right strokes, but we've seen her in this amicable mode before. It is Fallon who is the real find, delivering lines with appropriate comic timing and winning over both his onscreen girl and the audience. The movie may not really hit a home run, but it manages to easily reach fourth base. That may be reason enough to catch this. - Faizan Rashid

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