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4.3 out of 5 stars78
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 13 November 2008
It Really is NOT necessary to be an Arsenal Fan (A Gooner) to enjoy this film - as Nick Hornby manages to capture and portray what it is like to be 'A Football Fan' (The Heaven and Hell we all go through) - Regardless of who you might or might not support - As the film portrays the Highs, Lows, Agony and Ecstasy that most (true) Football fans go through each week, Month and Season.....whether your team be a Big Club or one of the Smaller Clubs - as it is all about the Passion and Love that one holds for ones own team - As Paul The main Character in the film observes how it's possible for your team/club to lift your spirits to the point of ecstasy and then bring you crashing back down to earth the next - which is what it is like being a Football fan.....and so if you are and regardless of whom you support, you will recognise yourself in this film - Providing you are a real football fan - and not an armchair - change your team from week - month type - who knows nothing of loyalty!..

This is a 6 Stars out of 5!
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The BLU RAY picture quality on "Fever Pitch" is surprisingly good - even beautiful in places - fans walking away from the London Highbury grounds - Colin Firth as Paul sat in a car at night waiting for his girl Sarah. And it's clean for the whole viewing too. I can tell you it never looked this fresh on DVD...

Even with his dreadful curly hair - Colin First exudes effortless charm as Paul Ashworth - an English teacher who has read Byron and is therefore not a Neanderthal. Mark Strong and Ruth Gemmell are particularly good as Steve - Paul's long-suffering football-loving mate - and Sarah the posh totty hapless Paul fancies. Bea Guard is luminous as Paul's sister and Sarah's friend and confidante in love. In fact given the general childishness of his character - Firth does well to win our hearts. With his Arsenal boxer shorts and constant babbling about the life-affirming importance of English Soccer - even if he is a bit of a klutz 99% of the time - we like him precisely because he is a nice guy - and deep down - Sarah knows it. She just wishes Paul would take his head out of the weekly score sheets every now and then and be a responsible adult - especially when she sees the colour blue displayed on another piece of kit - and were not talking about her away outfit...

There are also some nicely observed points about fathers and sons being able to bond on a common subject (Neal Pearson and Luke Aikman) - being with friends as you walk to and from the game. And that moment when you walk up the concrete steps to the terraces themselves - the pitch in front of you - the crowd's roar - when a live football game can feel like a magical Rock Concert every Saturday afternoon.

And when it finally comes to the end-of-season Arsenal Vs Spurs game on the 26th of May 1989 - the goal by Thomas that seals it for Arsenal in the final seconds sets up the great voice of Van Morrison as the local community pours out onto the streets of London in a frenzy - League Champions at last... It's pure cinematic joy...

In truth - the football-obsession stuff might test the patience of too many women - but "Fever Pitch" is that rare beast - a small movie with a big heart - and the actors to do Nick Hornby's witty and observant script the justice it deserves.

More to the point - if you're a fan of the movie you NEED to see it on BLU RAY. I've found this with a lot of the Channel 4 movies reissued on the format - despite how bad they look in standard def trailers - when you get to see the BR itself you find that someone has cleaned the print and given the movie a whole new lease of life. See my review for "Brassed Off" too...

A very, very good transfer onto BLU RAY then - and with full screen aspect too (no bars top or bottom).

Great fun and recommended like that Gunners tattoo on the left cheek of Margaret Thatcher's arse...

PS: Titles in this Channel 4 Series:
1. Brassed Off
2. East Is East
3. Fever Pitch
4. Gangster No. 1
5. Joe Strummer - The Future Is Unwritten
6. Life Is Sweet
7. A Room With A View
8. Shallow Grave
9. Touching The Void
10. The Warrior
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on 28 December 2000
Being married to a football (USA) "nut", I really enjoyed this film. (The football in this film is "soccer" to us.) My husband and I watched it and he could see himself in many scenes. Colin Firth is a great actor, his frustration and love come through those gorgeous eyes of his. Ruth Gemmell was perfect also. I have not read the book, the film made us laugh and we did care about the characters. We had trouble with the English slang and other English eccentricities, like fans wearing red when their team wore yellow, we were confused at first but were able to catch-on. The actors were believable in their roles, it moved at a good pace, and Colin Firth was able to capture the man/boy conflict. Very enjoyable film.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 October 2011
Teacher Paul is an obsessive football supporter, his love of Arsenal F.C. knows no bounds. Sarah, who teaches at the same school as Paul, has very little in common with Paul. Inevitably they fall for each other, and inevitably Paul's love of The Arsenal starts to drive them apart.

Nick Hornby is a very popular British writer whose other notable works comprise High Fidelity and About A Boy. With Fever Pitch he documented about the triumphant football season that Arsenal had in 1988/1989, while simultaneously outlaying his own stress inducing personal life that ran parallel with his football passion. In the novel, which became a monster seller, Hornby was able to perfectly form just how passionate and ridiculous the hardened football supporter can be {I've been there and done that myself thank you very much}, and tho some of it is expectedly lost in translation to the screen, the core essence is all there to make it a winning adaptation.

Tho laced with truly funny sequences and English soccer in jokes, Fever Pitch is also a most tender and heartfelt piece. Parential problems are handled tidily by director David Evans, and crucially the female axis in this male dominated story is very well portrayed. Both Hornby and Evans do however owe a big debt of gratitude to its leading stars. Colin Firth {Paul} and Ruth Gemmell {Sarah} are wonderful, both understated and both providing an intimacy that at first didn't seem possible. Coming as it does in this particular season, the film encompasses the Hillsborough tragedy that left 96 football supporters tragically killed. This is expertly handled by all involved, with Firth particularly towering whilst acting from an armchair as he comes to terms with both the events on the TV screen, and his query laden girlfriend. Which leaves us with what exactly? Well it's a very British film, and it was no surprise to see it remade as an American piece in 2005. Funny and tender probably best sums up this 1997 film, obviously not as good as the book they say, but it's a mighty fine effort regardless. 7/10
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on 3 January 2012
This film gets better with age, a real "must have" for any Arsenal fan. If you're a spurs or Liverpool fan, I'd imagine you wont like this. At all.
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on 10 September 2004
The book on which this film is based is by far Hornby's best - an almost allegorical depiction of father-son relationships that resonates with most men, especially those who grew up with estranged parents.
The film concentrates rather more on the love story, which means that viewers who don't know the book might conclude that Firth's character is just emotionally retarded and football obsessed, without understanding why. His "redemption" - the realisation that women are more important than football - therefore comes across as simplistic and seems designed to appeal primarily to female viewers (especially those who hate football!).
The good news is that, despite the dumbing down, the screenplay is excellently crafted and the actors play their roles with genuine depth. The pitch of the film (no pun intended) makes it ideal viewing for when curled up on the sofa with your loved one. But afterwards, make sure you read the book!
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on 10 July 2008
This film is a love story, and an adaptation from a very good book. I dont care about football, but I'm a Colin Firth fan, and I trully enjoyed this film. Entertaining,and at the same time, complex and intelligent. Really good work. Understated film.
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on 22 December 2009
Teacher Paul Ashworth (Firth) has always been an avid Arsenal football club supporter and when he starts dating a fellow teacher his love for the sport clouds his other purposes in life.

The first thing that will strike you about Fever Pitch is that it has the most boring opening to a film in all of time. The second thing you will see is the appreciation the film has of all emotions relating to the beautiful game and how it affects beliefs, life and so forth.

Being a fan of British cinema I let the sleepy beginning slide and sat back to watch the film grow into this intriguing reflection on the football side of life and how Colin Firth brandished out on his typecast lover's role for once and created a remarkable shot at a man lost in a world of sport.

Bridget Jones, Pride and Prejudice, Mamma Mia and Love Actually. The common factor is? You're right, they're all awful. But they are all also romantic comedies and star Mr Firth as a brandished eye candy for the female viewers. I've never personally been his biggest fan, and like Hugh Grant in About a Boy, it is good to see him brandish away from the Prince Charming perception and dive more into drama. This hard nosed football fanatic is a glorious exploration of obsession with no way of real world understanding and having seen many of his films, he to me has never bettered this. But with A Single Man due next year critics are suggesting it's his time for an Oscar.

Sadly we can never fully escape his typecast and we see a love interest inserted to balance out the good and bad of his football obsession. This is almost as ridiculous as Love Actually, there was a brief laugh and then they're snogging, having argued previously in the week. Her jealousy and animosity completely contradicts what is to follow it and Ruth Gemmell in all honesty, brings little but negative vibes to the film.

As a fan of football I found the representation quite an accurate depiction of the way the football world used to be and how we as neutrals watched with eager anticipation to see our favourite players march onto the field to the cheers and plaudits of the crowd. Now in a world where we see players selling perfume with their wives (Beckham) and more stories off field than on (manager sackings etc) it has been quite a while since the game has really been viewed as a game of sport and not of tabloid tales. This film however looks beyond the press and sees it as purely a fan's perspective, which benefits it.

The scene in the stadium that introduces Ruth Gemmell to the game is a great collaboration of fan's passion and youthful exuberance.

The final game we see is a title decider and whether you support Arsenal or not you will be gripped with the fans on screen to see the outcome. Despite major flaws with flashbacks, narration and love interests David Evans has created a good intended drama that is a good reflection of fans emotions to the game.

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on 5 December 2010
I first saw this film over ten years ago and it was an instant hit for me.

Rather than trying to do a page by page adaptation of the original book, Nick Hornby has adapted a script which has all of the flavour of the original book.

Colin Firth delivers a brilliant performance as Paul, English teacher during the working week and raving Arsenal obsessive the rest of the time, who enters a relationship with Sarah, realistically portrayed by Ruth Gemmell, a colleague who doesn't share Paul's obsession with all things football.

The film uses the trials and tribulations of Arsenal's 1989 First Division campaign as the backdrop to mirror the ups and downs of Paul and Sarah's relationship including her thoughts of Paul's apparent "yobbish" behaviour and his lack of relationship to matters other than football, his obsession which stems from the backstory with his father, portrayed by Neil Pearson, and many other bumps in their relationship including unplanned pregnancy and Sarah's apparent obsession with her work.

If you're looking for a rom-com on this subject, try the American adaptation of Fever Pitch entitled 'The Perfect Catch' which stars Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon. If you're looking a comedy drama film which looks at relationships, obsession - whether it be football team or something else, and how these shape a person, get this film.

P.S. - The soundtrack's very good too.
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Two teachers with differing teaching styles clash in the workplace - but opposites attract and Sue surprises herself by falling for the disorganised Paul.

There are three in the relationship though as Paul is football mad and his life revolves around his beloved Arsenal. Sue feels pushed aside during a year where Arsenal are strong contenders for the title, she can't understand Paul's passion for the beautiful game and starts to resent it.

Although football is the cause of much agony in their relationship, we also get to see the positive aspect of football, how it brings people together. From shared moments between a separated father and son, to young and old alike united in the stands.

It's refreshing to see Colin Firth in a role which differs from his usual typecast parts, I've often thought that Colin Firth is a great actor who has been pigeonholed into playing middle-class modern romantics. He does seem to struggle a bit with the accent (but I bet he does a cracking Michael Caine impression) but overall he pulls off the role.

In a nutshell: This is a romantic drama with a good dose of light comedy. You don't have to be a football fan to enjoy the film but it would give it an extra dimension as the football occupies a big proportion of the film
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