I LOVE this movie. The subject matter is perfectly believable; it could
have been obsession for any sport; many scenes are wonderfully acted; there
is very little that rings false for me; the dialogue is funny; CF is sexy
as hell; and Paul is perfectly charming. I couldn't help but forgive him
his obsessiveness. Romantic comedies are hard to rate because they seem
so easy to do but I still give this movie a 10.
Lines: There are a bunch and they change often, but right now:
(1) At parents/teachers conference. Paul: "He's a Spurs fan,
isn't he. I'd go for 12 quid seats if I were you. Squeeze the bastard for
all you can get." He delivers this line with such a cute smile.
(2) Jo: "It's all a form of male manipulation. You get colonized."
Aside from the extra heartbeat I get whenever I hear "colin" used in a
sentence, Jo's comments ring true for me.
(3) The restaurant scene. There are so many here. "You're careful
and organized and methodical and all that sort of thing and that's why
we work. I need somebody like that and you need somebody like me. The opposite."
Paul is adorable here. "We can live near the grounds `cause it's cheap
there. No one wants a football stadium on their front step. Except me.
I'd pay extra." He really thinks he's going to sell Sarah on this. And
of course, right before the infamous napkin scene Sarah says, "I'm impregnated
by a twelve year old."
(4) When Paul tells Ted he's going to apply for the head-of-year position
because Ms. Hughes is pregnant and Ted doesn't understand. "Sorry, I left
a bit out. (little laugh) I'm the father."
(5) Sarah sees Paul celebrating after Arsenal's victory. Just the way
she says, "I've never seen him so happy," it sounds so wistful. She just
can't get over this guy.
Favorite Kissing Scene: I wish there were more but my
favorite is when she's holding the coffee mugs. I just love the way he
bends down to her, no touching but their mouths, then he straightens and
takes the mugs from her and gets down to business.
Favorite Outfit: Odd category considering his wardrobe.
Personally, I like men a bit disheveled so he appealed to me right off.
I like his black T-shirt and jeans especially when he and Sarah are in
the kitchen having their last fight and he's leaning against the kitchen
Favorite Scene: Too many to count really but I've narrowed
it down. In no particular order:
(1) Car after parent/teacher night. I love his swearing when he sees
her (I'd like opinions why he is swearing) and again when he hears the
Arsenal news on the radio; his correcting her when she says "Wolves United"
(he just can't help himself); we see Sarah can laugh at herself when she
says she is just being herself with her files and folders, how else could
they ever have made it if she didn't have a sense of humor; asking him
up for coffee.
In the flat making him coffee. You can see the wheels turning in Sarah's
head when she says her flatmate is away. Do you agree that she never intended
to ask him to spend the night until that moment? She's embarrassed and
there's this interminable silence. I love the expressions on his face (several
Darcy looks here) and of course the kissing scene. When she tells him "not
here, I can't afford it" (new carpet), he doesn't know what she's talking
about but he just kind of grunts and follows her. I can watch this scene
over and over.
(3) When Sarah goes to the Arsenal match. It's obvious to me that he
doesn't really want her there but he sees she's in some distress and tries
to protect her.
(4) The restaurant. He is so earnest and eager. When she takes his
hand, he has this little smile as if she's holding it to be romantic but
she's really trying to comfort him as she says, "I haven't made up my mind
what I'm going to do about this yet. Do you understand?" "Yes. No, not
really." There is no pretense with this guy, I love him. I don't know why
though, he thinks this is his last chance at a relationship. I get the
feeling he has never given any relationship a real chance.
(5) When he tells Ted he's applying for the head-of-year position.
He can't understand why Ted is upset with him but even so, he's not bothered
(6) Looking at the house near the Arsenal grounds. He is so eager,
like the little boy he is, that he might be able to live here. He never
looks at anything in the house, just the view and then he looks so crestfallen
when he realizes Sarah is not convinced this is great.
(7) And right after in the car. She's trying to talk about where they
might live but he's only tuned in to the match on the radio. "I'm talking
to myself." Still, he's given up an afternoon of watching football to go
house hunting with her.
(8) He's walking down the school hallway with his boys, bouncing a
ball. He stops bouncing when he sees Sarah and, when one of his boys starts
bouncing his ball, he tells him to stop. Then "Ms. Hughes" as he passes.
She stops and watches him walk away. Melts me every time.
(9) The victory celebration. When she sees him and he sees her, they
just look at each other. Umm. They walk toward each other and sort of half
circle each other before he bends down for the kiss. No words, just that
sweet, loving look.
How about Darcy Looks, Sexiest Scene, Saddest Scene, Best Stubble, Best
Use of Music, Paul's character assessment. And then there are several perplexing
questions: How did he know she was pregnant? Will this marriage last? Why
doesn't she ever have a key to his flat?
I give the screenplay adaptation a 6 and Colin's acting a 10. I'm not
sure what I was expecting, but it's nothing as to what I got. I was surprised
by his character stretch, so unlike Darcy, so convincing. His character
is comical and obnoxious. Swear words just roll off his tongue. I think
he learned it when he was initiated into Arsenal by his father—the older
men who talked about the team as being f***g rubbish.
have a theory as to why he knew she was pregnant. Although his obsession
is football, he's not totally oblivious as to what's going on around him.
It's just that he refuses to participate unless it has to do with Arsenal.
He's insightful. For instance there's the divorce of his parents which
teaches him about relationships and when his dad asks: "Your mum seems
in good form, is she okay." He answers "not really." I also think as a
(English literature) teacher (if you're a good one) he had to know the
subject well. His character is very intelligent (quite deep). Arsenal is
his escape. Something to take him out of the real world when it gets too
painful. (i.e., parent's divorce). However, he's stayed there a little
too long. His family was broken but Arsenal accepted him ("If you put in
the hours you're welcomed, without question, into a new family.")
Questions: What is the significance of the Bread Album? What is Bread?
What is bolics (sounds like ball licks)?
What does "I don't want to do well in my mockos" mean? What are mockos?
Why doesn't Paul take the cigarette from his buddy when he offers it
during the big game?
Also, I thought Paul said "miss you" to Ms. Hughes when he passed her
in the school hallway.
Best Use of Music: Lisa Stansfield's "Been Around the
Stubble: After his school team loses the match and he's watching
everyone walk away.
Saddest Scene: When he yells out the window and tells
whoever it is he doesn't want to see them. (He realizes that it's Sarah
and by that time it's too late.)
If this marriage lasts, it will be a miracle.
(Heide) I'd like opinions why he is swearing
It accentuates his immaturity. He's 15 going on 35.
Bollocks. British coarse slang for 1. testicles; 2. nonsense, rubbish
Mock O's. A type of trial exams (as a rehearsal before the real ones)
You credit Paul with perception. You must be right because there are
very few clues as to how he would know Sarah is pregnant. Does anyone have
the screenplay? I understand there are scenes not in the movie. Maybe this
becomes just a little more clear. I agree he's intelligent, although I
don't know why he couldn't think of another D.H. Lawrence book besides
Chatterley. I agree about Arsenal being his family although it seems
like he's still close with his mother. He says something during one of
his voiceovers about everyone in the crowd being like one.
Who are the Bullet (sp.?) Brothers?
Paul didn't take the cigarette because he had quite smoking. Remember
when Sarah took it up when she found out she was pregnant, she told Jo
that Paul had given it up. As for "Miss you" or "Ms. Hughes," they do sound
alike. "Miss you" is more poignant but I'll stick with the curt "Ms. Hughes."
We know Paul is swearing because he's 15 going on 35, but why is he
swearing during that particular scene? Does he want to take Sarah home
As a general comment, I would say that the Brits (and us Aussies) swear
much more in everyday life than is normal in America, so that what might
sound shocking is just normal conversation. I have had to really clean
up my language since I came to the US. Even my mother comments that I don't
swear so much!
[re: video box] Did anyone notice that in all the publicity shots,
both Ruth Gemmell and CF have much shorter hair and CF looks quite unlike
Paul Ashworth? He is clean shaven which he never is in the film.
(Heide) I LOVE this movie. The subject matter is perfectly believable;
it could have been obsession for any sport; many scenes are wonderfully
acted; the dialogue is funny; CF is sexy as hell; and Paul is perfectly
DITTO, DITTO, DITTO Of course, I do like sports-related movies, but
even though the sport here is totally alien to me, I can relate to it.
Coming from a city that has a baseball team that hasn't won a national
championship in like 50 years but people are still die-heart fans, this
wasn't a stretch.
"I'm impregnated by a twelve year old."
Doesn't that line just sum it all up. He's a man-child, but not 50-50.
He's more like 80% child. When Sarah says that she hasn't made up her mind
yet and asks if he understands, first he says yes and then no. He hasn't
a clue as to the grown-up choices she is confronting.
"Sorry, I left a bit out. (little laugh) I'm the father."
That whole discussion is hilarious. When he tells Ted that he's not
going to embarrass the school and Ted replies they already have. Sarah
having only been there about 5 minutes and he knocks her up.
Interview with the school's governors for head of year job
Stephen Rea's smarmy comments about his good taste and chatting up
I don't want to marry David Cassidy, etc.
Another insightful lecture by Sarah but thoroughly amusing!
Favorite Kissing Scene: To me better than the coffee cup
kissing (that is, once it really gets under way which is indicated by the
raising of his left shoulder), is the little montage after they have broken
up and he is remembering their times together. She is attempting to get
rid of the Arsenal shorts, he grabs her and they fall on the bed—all while
the song "How Do You Hold On to a Dream" is playing. He looks so good in
Outfit: Definitely the denim shirt with the T-shirt underneath,
followed second by that gray sweater he is wearing while playing subbuteo
with Steve. However, throughout the entire movie, I had an uncharacteristic
urge to want to tuck in his shirts, tops, etc. ;-) Truly bizarre.
(1) House hunting is my favorite. First, he is wearing my favorite
outfit, but more importantly, he looks like the cat that ate the canary
as he pretends not to know anything about the team. Sarah tells him that
she will not indulge his fantasies. But the best part is to compare it
with the Bread album scene. He tells Sarah that the album isn't right—too
sweary—and she says that that may be the most romantic thing he has ever
said. He gets all embarrassed and says "shut up." Here, looking at the
house, he puts his arms around her (something you wouldn't expect) and
is demonstrably affectionate with her. Maybe he's grown up a tad (just
(2) The victory celebration. I can watch this one over and over again,
but I'm not sure how much has to do with the Van Morrison song or what's
going on! At the very end, after they've met up and reconciled and she
asks him about George Graham, I just love "has someone else noticed the
resemblance" and his reaction.
(3) In bed when she asks him about Byron and he does quote some. But
then he asks why she wanted to know and she says it was a bet. Paul asks,
did you win and she kind of snorts back "I don't think so." I loved that.
(4) When she asks him what he is thinking about, he says D.H. Lawrence
but can't come up with an intelligent comment. His line about having to
vary the responses because he can't say Arsenal all the time was priceless.
His obsession is so great that he can't come up with anything better than
"which novel was longer."
Pregnancy Theory: My guess was he recalled her face at
the soccer game just before. There was a shot of him looking at her being
pushed and shoved by the crowd and the camera is fixed on her stomach.
Then he asks her if she is OK. This might be a little far-fetched.
Scene: Definitely when his mother calls; he lies and doesn't tell
her. Instead, he says that she gives her best and that they are going to
eat dinner when we know he already has. He looks positively dismal and
dejected. What thoughts were going through his head at that point?
Best Use of Music: I loved the entire soundtrack! But
my favorites have to be the Van Morrison partying song, "Bright Side of
the Road," and "How Do You Hang on to a Dream." Then there's the great
Who song as young Paul has chucked his dad and is going to the Arsenal
game by himself. That strutting walk reminds me of John Travolta's in Saturday
No one has mentioned the kid! I especially liked when his dad is suggesting
they do something else and the kid says, "you mean, go see Jungle Book?"
Then he tells his dad that they will never get beyond that stage. Priceless.
After Hillsborough, Paul apparently insults Sarah by saying that someday
she will like something that "can't be ticked." What is this "ticked" thing?
Maybe that will clear things up as to why she is so upset with that comment.
Near the end, when Sarah comes into his classroom because the play has
started, one of the students says that Paul has the "hump" I think?
Fever Pitch is a funny film which brings the ups and downs in the life
of a fan to the point, and Colin's portrayal of Paul's emotions is excellent
and makes us understand his struggle with life. After TEP I was very happy
to see a film with so much Colin in it. On the other hand I was a little
disappointed about the relationship between Sarah and Paul and the ending.
I think Fever Pitch is not a book for which "translation" into a film is
But FP has so many wonderful moments. Harold Finlay wrote in Attitude
(April 1997) about Colin as "the little vulnerable boy trapped in a grown
man's body," which also describes Paul well, I think.
of my favorites are:
(1) the coffee-kissing scene: intimate but still showing distance
(2) the park bench scene: best intentions on Paul's side
(3) the Bread album
(4) the discussion about holidays and fixture lists, when Paul says:
"That shows what you know about it" with that irresistible smile on his
(5) looking for a new flat, when he tells Sarah why he always wanted
to live near the stadium and she hugs him
Of course the Darcy scenes:
(1) Paul's expression during the job interview after the nasty comment
about his relationship to Sarah
(2) Paul pacing to and fro during the decisive match: "I didn't want
to get this close." (insert Arsenal or Elizabeth)
(3) his expression, when he realizes that Sarah was at the door
(4) his leisurely walk in the end has a light o-shaped look like the
walk towards Rosings
As a favorite outfit I would choose the black leather jacket.
When Sarah goes to the football match with Paul she puts her hand on
her belly when they are trapped in the crowd. Did she know at that time
about the pregnancy?
I had to watch FP about 3 times before I could say I liked it. I think
this is primarily because of the language. I find myself listening really
hard, trying to figure out the words first then decipher the slang. Also,
originally, I thought Paul was simply not likable enough. However, once
I understood what he was saying and how subtle Colin's performance is,
I started to like him very well indeed.
(Heide) The subject matter is perfectly believable, it could have
been obsession for any sport
That's what I didn't catch the first time around. Not being a fan of
football, I couldn't imagine someone being that devoted. I was dismissing
it simply because I don't like it myself. Then I realized that I'm just
as bad. I'm a hockey fan—a big, vulgar, hat-throwing, stat-spouting hockey
fan. Very often my mood is determined by a win or loss the night before.
I've religiously followed superstitious rituals if I thought it would help
my team. I've been morbid ("What's the point of it all") and elated ("I
had a feeling"). Like Paul, I spent 20 years waiting for a win. And when
it finally happened, I can honestly say that it was one of the best moments
of my life. But most of my family and friends think I'm nuts. As Paul says
himself "Perhaps it's something you can't understand unless you belong."
(Heide's) "I'm impregnated by a twelve year old."
Poor woman...a moment of realization.
A few others:
(1) "Stephen, you've got your hand in the air"
(2) "I've seen this film. You end up shagging on the carpet"
(3) Sarah: "Paul, that's the most romantic thing you've ever said to
me" Paul: "Shut up"
(4) "Jesus, Paul, you need medical help. You got some kind of disease
that turns people into miserable bastards"
Favorite Kissing Scene: I'm afraid I don't have one :-(
Nothing really juicy about the kissing, IMO.
Favorite Scenes: In addition to the others mentioned by
(1) The pandemonium in the first classroom scene.
The parent-teacher conference. You get a feeling for how charming he is
and why he's so well-liked.
(3) Scene in the car after the conference. "that was me being
(4) The pep talk to his student after his team loses. "If you had a
choice of winning today or Arsenal winning tomorrow."
(5) Sarah (at the party) realizing that her students do appreciate
(6) Paul holding the baby.
(Jana) What is the significance of the Bread Album? What is Bread?
Bread is a painfully sappy American band from the mid-70s. They were
famous for melancholy love songs. However, their songs are the type that
everyone knows the words to but won't admit it. Like the Carpenters (but
not so cheerful).
(Heide) We know Paul is swearing because he's 15 going on 35, but
why is he swearing during that particular scene?
Because he has to choose between doing the correct and adult thing
(to give a lady a ride home in the pouring rain) or what he really wants
to do—leave her there to fend for herself. I don't think it's because he
dislikes her (quite the contrary), but because he thinks she doesn't like
(Allison) Did anyone notice that in all the publicity shots, both
Ruth Gemmell and CF have much shorter hair and CF looks quite unlike Paul
Ashworth? He is clean shaven..
Yes. I imagine the publicity shots were done after the filming. I much
prefer the clean-cut Colin anyway (which is why I chose that photo) :-)
Just a couple more things. I love that whole introspective narration
(after the argument between Paul and Sarah) that starts with "Football
has meant too much to me" and ends with "A world that doesn't stop in May
and begin again in August." It's a wonderful bit of insight into Paul's
I think it's very clever that they keep track of time by showing the
date and the Arsenal game of that day. It's just more reinforcement that
Paul's whole world revolves around the game.
Can someone explain the flowers that the Arsenal players carry on the
field at that last game? Is that some traditional thing?
(Sylvia) When Sarah goes to the football match...Did she know at
that time about the pregnancy?
Yes, she knew because his phone call to her was that night. I don't
recall that she put her hand on her stomach during the match. I just remember
that the camera focused in on it and that Paul looked at her then.
Nothing really juicy about the kissing, IMO.
Take another look. The falling onto the bed scene (OK, no actual kissing,
but he doesn't look any better than that!) and then in the coffee scene,
look at him as he puts his shoulder into it (not quite as good shoulder
action as in Tumbledown, but will do.)
Question: Why do you think "Iron Knickers" Hughes told him he could
stay the night?
Earlier, I had asked what "got the hump" meant. But now I have a translation
and, for the rest of you, it means "got upset." Well, that was a let down,
wasn't it? ;-)
(Heide) The Bollocks Brothers
It must have been some sort of an obscure sweary-comedy group, I think.
(Nan) I had to watch FP about 3 times before I could say that I liked
it. I think this is primarily because of the language...trying to figure
out the words first then decipher the slang. Also, originally, I thought
Paul was simply not likable enough.
That, in a nutshell, is the sad but understandable reason why this
film was deemed not suitable for general release in the US.
(Heide) why is he swearing during that particular scene?
(Nan) Because he has to choose between doing the correct and adult
thing...or what he really wants to do—leave her there to fend for herself.
And there is a sports broadcast just coming on the radio and he'd rather
listen to that without having to chat politely with her. He ends trying
to juggle both with more hilarious moments.
(Karen) that still leaves that "tick" comment!
Oh, to tick means to mark with a V to denote correctness, check items
on a list etc. Does that help?
Finally, the scene when she says he can spend the night seems a little
too contrived to me. It happens too suddenly. But then I suppose it's to
show that she, a modern woman, wants to be in charge, rather, than wait
for him to woo her, which might have never happened.