Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mike Tollin|
|Story by||Kevin Falls|
Freddie Prinze Jr.|
|Edited by||Harvey Rosenstock|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$19.7 million|
Summer Catch is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Mike Tollin and starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Jessica Biel and Matthew Lillard. The film marked Tollin's feature film directorial debut. The story takes place on Cape Cod, but the majority of the film was shot in Southport, North Carolina.
Ryan Dunne is a local baseball player who dreams of playing in the Major Leagues. He helps his dad with his landscaping business and takes care of Veteran's Field, where his team, the Chatham A's play.
Ryan, in his dedication to making the pros, has sworn off girls and drinking to avoid distractions. This changes when he sees Tenley Parrish, as he and his father are mowing the Parrish family's lawn.
The next day, the A's have their first game of the season where rival Van Leemer shines pitching a shut-out, while Ryan is told to walk the stands for donations. That evening Ryan and Tenley have their first kiss. The next night Ryan is pitching in his first game of the season. The game goes well for the A's until the last inning when Ryan gives up a grand slam, allowing the other team to win the game. Ryan returns home to find his dad drunk and upset about the loss. Later, Ryan visits Tenley where he confides about his rocky relationship with his father and concerns about failing as a baseball player.
Ryan is distracted by Tenley and feels a lot of pressure from scouts, family, the Parrish family, and friends. He is told that he's getting the start for an upcoming big game. The next night, Ryan starts out well, but comes apart later on. The loss causes him to be demoted to the bullpen in a relief position. Despite the bad outing, Hugh Alexander, a scout for the Philadelphia Phillies in attendance, shows interest in Ryan's talent.
Van Leemer is kicked off the team for bad behavior and since Ryan has the freshest arm and the most rest, he is designated to start the final game. Tenley tells Ryan that she's leaving for San Francisco for a job opportunity the following night, which is the night of the final game. She tells him to let himself be great, before tearfully hugging him goodbye. Inspired by Tenley's words of encouragement, Ryan pitches one of the best performances ever seen in the Cape League, dominating the game with a no-hitter, with his friends, dad and brother, and several major league scouts, including Alexander, in attendance. Late in the game, he notices that Tenley has stopped by on her way to the airport to watch him. He proceeds to strike out the current batter, marking his eleventh strike-out of the game, and looks back to see that Tenley is gone. Ryan rushes to the airport where he catches Tenley before she boards her plane. They both profess their love for each other and she agrees to forego her job in San Francisco and stay. Ryan's dad and brother soon arrive with the scout Alexander, to tell him that his team won the game with a combined no-hitter. Alexander offers Ryan a contract with the Phillies that will start him out at their minor league affiliate, which he happily accepts.
In a mid-credits scene, everyone is gathered to watch Ryan in his Major League debut as a starting pitcher for the Phillies. He delivers his first pitch to Ken Griffey Jr., who launches it into the stands for a home run. Phillies players Mike Lieberthal, Doug Glanville, and Pat Burrell, along with outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., make appearances at the end of the film. Other notable cameos in the movie include Kevin Youkilis, Curt Gowdy, Hank Aaron and Carlton Fisk.
- Freddie Prinze Jr. as Ryan Dunne
- Jessica Biel as Tenley Parrish
- Fred Ward as Sean Dunne
- Matthew Lillard as Billy Brubaker
- Jason Gedrick as Mike Dunne
- Brittany Murphy as Dede Mulligan
- Brian Dennehy as Coach John Schiffner
- Gabriel Mann as Auggie Mulligan
- Bruce Davison as Rand Parrish
- John C. McGinley as Hugh Alexander (uncredited)
- Marc Blucas as Miles Dalrymple
- Wilmer Valderrama as Mickey Dominguez
- Corey Pearson as Eric Van Leemer
- Christian Kane as Dale Robin
- Zena Grey as Katie Parrish
- Traci Dinwiddie as Lauren
- Susan Gardner as Marjorie
- Beverly D'Angelo as Lusty House Mother (uncredited)
Summer Catch holds an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 91 reviews with the consensus: "A cliched and predictable sports comedy that's mostly devoid of excitement or laughs, Summer Catch is strictly bush-league".
The film opened at #6 at the U.S. box office raking in $7,018,593 USD in its opening weekend. Summer Catch went on to gross $19 million worldwide, failing to bring back its $34 million budget.
Summer Catch was released on VHS and DVD on December 4, 2001.
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The film was also not filmed in New England because the spring season was too cold so the actual production site was in Southport, North Carolina. The Chatham A's baseball field that was used in the film was actually built from a field that had been abandoned for about 20 years. Within about eight weeks the field was complete with batting cages and a press box ready to film. Since the filming of the movie, the field has once again been abandoned and is simply an overgrown field. The majority of the people cast for the roles of the teammates were actual minor-league baseball players. Only seven of the 35 people cast for the roles of the teammates were actors. The baseball players had to attend a four-week training camp during which they learned how to ignore the cameras on the field and to feel and act more as a team. All of the actors had to practice every day.
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