Sight and Sound - 04/01/1997
"...FEVER PITCH is full of in-jokes and nostalgic allusions....[Firth] offers an enjoyably deadpan caricature..."
Total Film - 07/01/2012 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]hanks to Firth's winning performance, this FEVER proves pitch-perfect in its snapshot of a generation struggling to put away childish things."
When Paul (Firth), a middle-aged English teacher in Britain who nurses an obsession for the Arsenal soccer team, meets Sarah, a seemingly uptight young woman who is a single-minded professional, he is forced to drastically re-evaluate his life. Sarah loathes the sport, while Paul's entire life is based on it--it is the only place in his life that allows him to feel true joy or pain, as well as a British national identity. Soon, Sarah is pregnant, and although she's growing to enjoy soccer, she worries that Paul cares more for the sport than for the relationship and the impending arrival of fatherhood. Paul is concerned that the relationship is indeed mirroring the team's streak of wins and losses. As Arsenal approaches the 1989 Championship, it has a final chance to end its 18 year losing streak, and Paul and Sarah have one fleeting chance to restore their touchy union. The film is lent an extra spurt of realism in that the 1989 Arsenal upset is considered one of the touchstones of British soccer history. The script is written by Nick Hornby, author of HIGH FIDELITY, and based on his novel.