It’s dark. It’s cold. And things are downright miserable on the Fenway Park set of Fever Pitch. It isn’t that Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s movie is going badly. Stars aren’t misbehaving. Budgets haven’t been busted. Nope, the two directors are in a foul mood because of their beloved Boston Red Sox, who are currently down two games to none — and about to go down three games to none — in the playoffs against their hated rivals, the New York Yankees. ”Uuuugggh, bad loss last night,” moans Peter, surveying the now-empty stadium. ”Yep. Damn ugly,” agrees his brother, Bobby.
What was about to happen, of course, is the stuff of legend. The Sox won. And won. And won. And won. Visiting upon the Yankees one of the most savage beatings in the history of professional sports, thrilling Sox fans everywhere. By the time the Olde Towne Team had dispatched the St. Louis Cardinals four games to zip in the World Series, all of New England was united in giddy disbelief. Millions poured out of their homes. Strangers hugged strangers. A vast spectrum of gods were thanked. All Red Sox fans squirmed with glorious rapture.
All Red Sox fans except, ironically enough, the Farrelly boys. Their loose adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel — which stars Jimmy Fallon as a Sox-obsessed dweeb and Drew Barrymore as the girl who loves him — relied on the BoSox doing what they had always done. Losing.
How do you come back from that? EW got the twisted brains behind There’s Something About Mary and Stuck on You together with their two stars to talk Sox, stardom, and just how you save a movie when life rewrites the ending for you.
EW This movie seems like a dream job for two boys from New England. How did you end up landing it?
Bobby Farrelly Well, we actually developed [a movie] two years ago called Curse of the Bambino and never got it made. So we heard this one was in production and we glommed on. We had to lobby to get it, though, because we were not the natural guys to do it.
EW I have these visions of the studio asking, ”You guys know you can’t put, like, sperm in Johnny Damon’s hair or anything, right?”
Bobby Farrelly Exactly. They pretty much did say, ”Eh, hey, you guys aren’t going to go and do all of that stuff you do, are you?” And we were like, No no no we get it. It’s a different beast and it called for a different approach.
EW What about you, Drew? How does a nice girl like you end up with guys like the Farrelly brothers?
Drew Barrymore Well, first of all, thank you for seeing me as a classy broad. Second, Kingpin, Dumb and Dumber, and There’s Something About Mary are some of my favorite [movies] ever. But the reason that I was really excited is that they’re guys from Boston! They get that mentality and they’ve lived that life.
EW Does that mean you were conscious of this totally insane Red Sox cult? Because I think some people might look at this movie and think Jimmy’s character is over-the-top, but he absolutely isn’t.