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Summer Catch

movie reviewmovie review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Summer Catch

Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr., Jessica Biel
Director: Mike Tollin
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 108 Minutes
Release Date: August 2001
Genres: Comedy, Romance


*Also starring: Beverly D'Angelo, Fred Ward, Jason Gedrick, Brittany Murphy, Gabriel Mann, Bruce Davison, Matthew Lillard, Brian Dennehy



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1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
2.  MrBrown read the review movie review
3.  Edward Johnson-Ott read the review movie reviewmovie review
4.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review

Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

SUMMER CATCH isn't. A lackluster twist on the old baseball classic BULL DURHAM, the movie features a bunch of young heartthrobs cast to attract just the right demographics. It stars pretty boy Freddie Prinze Jr. who has one of least impressive track records around. The only movie that I ever remember liking him in was SHE'S ALL THAT.

As directed by Michael Tollin and written by Kevin Falls and John Gatins, the picture doesn't have a single original idea. "Practice Like Champions Today" reads the sign in the locker room. The spoken dialog isn't much better.

The film has trouble deciding what kind of movie it wants to be. Sometimes, it wants to be a cleaned up version of PORKY'S. To accomplish that with a PG-13 rating, the guys don thong bikini panties -- don't ask -- to show off their derrières, and the girls are seen in bras and wet T-shirts. At other times, the movie thinks it's about the sport of baseball with serious scouts in the stands hanging on every pitch. Still other times, it tries to be a study of the debilitating effects of class consciousness in America, as some of the actors show 100-year-old English class sensibilities.

Ryan Dunne (Prinze), who mows lawns with his father, has his big chance this summer. Playing in a supposedly very important collegiate summer league, which has less than a hundred fans, Ryan hopes to be picked up by a major league team. Ryan is one of the few residents of his Cape Cod town who have absolutely no accent.

After vowing in the opening to "swear off woman and booze," Ryan gets plastered and falls asleep on the playing field with Dede (Brittany Murphy from GIRL, INTERRUPTED). Shortly thereafter, Ryan moves upscale, going from waitress Dede to blueblood Tenley Parrish (Jessica Biel), who is a card-carrying member of the local gentry. Tenley wants to be an architect, but her cruel father is shipping her off to San Francisco to join an investment banker firm. She is an adult who feels powerless to resists her father's instructions. (When you've stopped crying, you can continue reading.) Her father is played by an overacting Bruce Davison, who recently was so effective as the father of a rebellious girl in CRAZY/BEAUTIFUL. Ryan's clichéd, alcoholic father is played by Fred Ward. The only semi-decent performance in the picture comes from Brian Dennehy as Ryan's coach.

There isn't one scintilla of chemistry between the love birds and not much between Ryan and the sport with which he is supposedly so infatuated. The ending will likely have baseball fans shaking their heads in disbelief.

Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes

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