November 12, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Fever Pitch

Current Status
In Season
101 minutes
Wide Release Date
Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon, Jack Kehler, Marissa Jaret Winokur
Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
Romance, Comedy

Back in August, Nick Hornby’s book Fever Pitch — the basis for a 1997 British film about a winning soccer squad — was being shaped into an American movie starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon…and featuring baseball’s biggest losers, the Boston Red Sox. ”This might be the only example of a small, cheerful English movie being turned into a larger, downbeat Hollywood movie,” the author quipped at the time. But on Oct. 27, as the Sox teetered on the brink of winning the World Series, the filmmakers found themselves scrambling to somehow incorporate the (almost) unimaginable victory. Terrified of jinxing the team, they waited until 5:30 p.m. that day to put the actors — armed with nothing more than a fanny pack full of makeup and a comb — on a plane to St. Louis. ”It was totally surreal,” says producer Nancy Juvonen of the last-minute shoot that captured the stars making out on the field as the Sox celebrated the end of the team’s 86-year-old curse. A previously shot scene, in which Barrymore sprints across the outfield of Boston’s Fenway Park, will now stand in for Game 4 of the American League championship (when Boston began its miracle comeback against the New York Yankees). ”We’ve just kind of recalibrated our timeline,” says Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler. ”We augmented our fairy tale. As [the Red Sox’s] dream was realized, our couple’s dream is also realized.” And Hornby wants the credit: ”Please tell the people of Boston that I am claiming personal responsibility for this.”

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