Welcome to the super secret Boston Marathon prep blog! Over the course of the last 20 weeks everyone has prepared to run from Hopkinton to Boylston street. They’ve run intervals and done long runs and hopefully practiced for the downhills. But, in the name of transparency, I am going to be revealing my secret Boston specific training in time for you to copy me and maximize your shot at a PR. I have been watching Boston Movies and I’ve reviewed 4 of them for your reading pleasure.
So, a couple things we have to get straight on right up front. The first is the criteria for what separates a Boston movie, from a movie set in Boston. The answer is twofold. 1) Does the city of Boston play an important role? And 2) Could this movie be set in a different city with pretty minimal changes. So, movies that don’t qualify:
Boondock Saints- that could be Chicago or New York or anywhere with lots of Irish people. It doesn’t have to be Boston
Spotlight- Since this is a true story, it couldn’t be set in a different place, but it doesn’t use the city. Boston isn’t a character in the movie. Also, I want this to be fun, and that was not a fun movie to watch and think about.
So, with all that in mind, the 4 movies that I have review are Fever Pitch, The Town, The Departed, and Good Will Hunting. Each movie will be given a score out of 5 Dunkin’s and analyzed across a few categories. The categories that they will be discussed will be summary, alternate summary, analysis, favorite parts, least favorite parts, best (most fun) Boston accent, worst Boston accent, best Boston accent line, and then we’re gonna think about how the Boston Marathon could be incorporated if this movie were rewritten.
So, without further ado, here is Fever Pitch.
Boston Movie- Fever Pitch- 2/5 Dunkins
Ben (played by Jimmy Fallon) begins dating Lindsey (played by Drew Barrymore), but when baseball season starts up, their relationship takes a toll because of Ben’s (fun fact, IMDB doesn’t list these characters last names lol) intense obsession with the Red Sox combined with Lindsey’s 80-90 hour a week job. The two eventually break-up and, in an attempt to win Lindsey back, Ben decides to sell his season tickets that he inherited from his uncle. When Lindsey hears about that, and hears that Ben is willing to give up something so important to him, she takes him back. They get back together and the Red Sox win the World Series and everyone lives happily ever after.
Man converts girlfriend into such a big sports fan that she runs across Fenway Field and gets arrested.
This is a fine movie, I guess. It’s not particularly original, or that well written, and the acting isn’t that good, but it is good enough where I didn’t once feel like I should just turn it completely off. It’s a movie that kind of feels like one of those late seasons of a TV show, like The Office after Michael leaves or Friday Night Lights after Smash, Riggins, Saracen, and Lyla are all gone. It feels like the writers have kind of run out of story lines, but just keep writing anyways, and you keep watching because you’re holding out hope that something good will come, but it doesn’t, and you just keep sadly watching. I guess, the best way to sum up this movie is this; if the makers of this movie sat down and thought to themselves, “I really want to make a movie for someone who wants to kill 1:40 on a random afternoon after a nap but before a massage” I would say that they absolutely nailed it.
Here are a list of situations when Fever Pitch is not a good movie to watch:
If you want to experience a really creative piece of art
If you want to LOL
If you want to show off how good of taste in movies you have to someone
If you have the option to watch a different romantic comedy.
Here are some times when Fever Pitch is a good movie to watch:
If you got off work and you’re tired, and don’t want to watch anything particularly sad or stressful, and it happens to be on TNT, and you have a moderate amount of alcohol that you are planning to consume while you don’t think too hard about anything.
If you’re doing chores and you don’t notice the movie you had on in the background ended and then this one just started and you have more stuff to do and still want a movie on in the background.
If you just took a nap and have 1:40 to kill before a massage in the taper weeks before the Boston Marathon.
Lindsey’s Dog- There wasn’t really ever a purpose to her having a dog, like the dog didn’t do anything for the plot, but it was a very cute and cool Border Collie and I think that should be noted. Good dog!
I liked the way that Ben and Lindsey’s relationship ended in the middle of the movie. Usually in romantic comedies there’s this big fight where the characters air their grievances and they both act super immature and it’s this big crescendo, which is dramatic but not many relationships actually end that way. In this movie, the relationship just kind of decayed over time. Lindsey tried hard to get Ben to change to meet her needs, and Ben tried but not very hard or well to be that guy. And Lindsey didn’t really try to change to accommodate Ben’s needs even though he was annoyed by how much time she spent at work. They just seemingly let these things stew under the surface until their relationship just kind of crumbled from under their feet. I feel like that’s a way more relatable and common way that relationships end, and I liked the way that the did it. It felt kind of real, and their subsequent loneliness felt like it made more sense.
But the winner of this category is absolutely, every time that Jimmy Fallon got to be silly. That’s what he’s built for, that’s his wheel house. Every time he did a silly voice or got to kind of flop around in some way where he didn’t care what the people around him thought of him, that was great. I love silly Jimmy Fallon. He does silly so well because he is self-aware of his silliness. He has no illusions about trying to salvage an ounce of “cool” when he’s being silly and in that autonomy from what other people think, it’s so fun to watch.
Least Favorite Part-
Jimmy Fallon trying to be smooth. That just aint Jimmy Fallon. He isn’t George Clooney or Brad Pitt or Ryan Gosling. He’s not this suave cool guy, so when tries to do that, it feels really forced. He’s got a funny haircut, and his body isn’t great (he pops off his shirt at one point and he has certified man boobs), and he has kind of a strange voice that switches pitch pretty regularly. So, when he tries to be smooth, which he tries to be a few times, it feels super forced and kind of a little smarmy and I cringe every time cool Ben makes an appearance over goofy Ben.
The winner for the “least favorite part” category is one of the greatest travesties in all of film. It’s that, despite about 83% of this movie taking place in Fenway, there are exactly zero “Fuck the Yankees” or “Yankees suck” chants, which seems like a pretty integral part of Fenway Park. The endearing thing about Red Sox fans is how much they absolutely loathe the Yankees and their pure, unadulterated, jealousy over the ramifications of trading Babe Ruth over 100 years ago. That jealousy is expressed so clearly and unequivocally when all of Fenway joins together in an anti-Yankee chant when the Sox are playing the Royals. And yet, we got exactly zero of those.
Best Boston Accent
There are only two people in this movie who have good Boston accents, there’s Uncle Carl who introduced Ben to the Red Sox, and there’s Al, who is a weird guy who has season tickets near Ben who hands out sponges. They have about 7 combined lines and Carl definitely comes out on top.
But, I just want to pause and say that the lack of good Boston accents is by far the most disappointing part of this movie. If this movie had been exactly the same but like 7 kinda major characters dropped their R’s and dragged out their ahhh sounds, this movie would absolutely be more fun and I would strongly consider bumping it all the way up to a 3, maybe a 3.2/5 Dunkins. But, no. Sadly, in a movie about Boston Red Sox fan culture, there are very few decent Boston accents no “wickeds” and no “fahhk yous.” That is an absolute travesty on par with decaf.
Worst Boston Accent-
Some of the characters, like Lindsey, weren’t supposed to be from Boston, so we have to give them a pass.
But every other fucking actor who was supposed to play a character from Boston and didn’t have a Boston accent is going down for this. Especially Jimmy Fallon. Fallon is known for his ability to do impressions. He can sing in almost any voice, and you’re telling me he couldn’t learn how to do a Boston accent? Come on Jimmy, that’s so unbelievably disappointing. It’s like when your boy brings you chipotle but instead of a burrito he brings you a bowl and a piece of your soul dies. Every time Jimmy Fallon makes an R sound in this movie, it’s like a million tiny little forks digging into your intestines. It’s like being repeatedly being punched in the gall bladder. It’s like crying tears of acid that burn your face as they run down your cheeks. It’s like a summer hail storm that never stops. It’s just the worst and I hold Jimmy Fallon personally responsible for this atrocity.
Best Boston Accent Line-
There is really only one good Boston accent line in this movie, it happens early in the movie and it’s when Uncle Carl says, “Cahhful kid, they’ll break your heahhhht.”
So, yeah, that one wins.
How could the Boston Marathon be incorporated?-
Ok, so Ben seems like a really nice guy but he’s also kind of hapless in a lot of ways. So, I think we lean into that for this. I think that a super Ben thing to do would be to hear that runners need carbs and protein to succeed, and then take matters into his own hands in order to help the runners of the Boston Marathon in any way that he could. So, imagine this, Ben is in his kitchen cooking up hundreds of hard-boiled eggs the night before the race, and then in the morning he takes the T out to Boston College and starts trying to hand out the eggs to the runners as they crest Heartbreak Hill. Some take it and then immediately puke, because of course they throw-up after eating a hard-boiled egg. Most runners bypass the weirdo handing out eggs and Ben is left with like 300 hard boiled eggs that he eats with Lindsey and her adorable border collie later that night.
Check back tomorrow for more leaked super-secret Boston Prep featuring The Town.