Pitching Prinze
Summer Catch
Review by Ross Anthony

"Super cute south paw, has a chance if he can harness that temper."

The film opens with Ryan (Prinze) sleeping on the mound in preparation for the first big day of practice. He's a local lawn boy with a wicked pitching left arm. In "striking" contrast to Ryan's supposedly equally wicked temper, Prinze maintains a lower-key, relaxed acting persona. Ryan's wild past is mentioned, though never defined; save for his remarkable ability to self-destruct -- especially after inning five.

Ward: "Maybe someone's trying to help you out?"
Prinze: "I can screw this one up on my own."

The production would have bettered itself by removing the whole "temper" idea from the picture (or pitcher in this case); the "fear of failure" cloud works well and serves more than enough to threaten the parade.

Warm fuzzy moments "pop up" through out the film, I got choked up once or twice. However, like Ryan himself, "Summer Catch" throws inconsistently. Some scenes fire right over the plate, others drift way wide and outside. Additionally, sort of a jack of all genres, master of none, "Catch" isn't really a baseball picture, buddy film, coming of age, love story, father-son-brother tale, "American Pie" type teen comedy; though all genres are tagged rounding the bases, none are able to bring the runners home.

Despite criticism from others, I actually like Freddie Prinze Jr. and enjoyed the work he's done in this picture. Unfortunately, while Jessica Biel is "drop dead gorgeous" (that's a quote from Freddie), she doesn't quite nail her role as the sassy rich love interest. However, Brian Dennehy, Fred Ward and Jason Gedrick each have their strong touching moments.

And while I like the gist of this good-hearted script, the final production could have been edited with a heavier hand. A short sweet film bettering a cluttered longer one.

  • Summer Catch. Copyright © 2001. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Freddie Prinze, Jr., Jessica Biel, Fred Ward, Jason Gedrick, Brittany Murphy, Gabriel Mann, Bruce Davison, Marc Blucas, Matthew Lillard, Brian Dennehy.
  • Directed by Mike Tollin.
  • Written by Kevin Falls and John Gatins.
  • Produced by Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins, Sam Weisman at Warner Bros.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:35 PDT