November 9, 2004

Take One

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The Wednesday before Halloween, the Boston Red Sox capped off the most awe-inspiring 11 days in sports history. 86 long, wearisome years in the making, it unfolded like the perfect Hollywood script. Just imagine: A team of endearing characters, seemingly down and out, finds within themselves a level of perseverance and resolve unlike any the sports world has ever seen. A mere three outs away from being swept by the perpetually loathed Yankees, they find a way to overcome all odds. And it really happened. “Keep the faith,” they insisted, and an exhilarating week and a half later, they sent all of Red Sox Nation into a state of candid euphoria, celebrating a World Series championship — finally.

The win was not without implications in Hollywood. In fact, it completely changed the ending to a movie. There was an actual reason why Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore were shown kissing on the field as the Red Sox merrily celebrated their World Championship. As it turns out, they were being filmed for the ending to the upcoming Farrelly brothers movie Fever Pitch, in which they play a couple, Ben and Lindsey, whose relationship is threatened by Ben’s unyielding obsession with the Red Sox. The film is based on the Nick Hornby novel of the same name, and when it became apparent that the Red Sox might win the World Series, the Farrelly brothers scrambled to film a new ending. “It works brilliantly at the end,” Bobby Farrelly said. “We didn’t want to try to fictionalize it, but now it’s reality.” So, it seems, art does sometimes imitate life.

Of course, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Tom Hanks and Stephen King are proud members of Red Sox Nation too. Now that the World Series is over, they too can begin to focus on their upcoming projects. Hanks is the voice of the conductor in The Polar Express this winter, an animated project that has been years in the making. Based on Chris Van Allsburg’s classic children’s book, the movie tells the tale of a boy who, while lying awake on Christmas Eve, is taken with his friends on an amazing adventure to the North Pole in a quest to meet Santa Claus. The film has already begun to generate some Oscar buzz, as it tries to become only the second animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture. (The Beauty and the Beast was the first.)

Close friends, and Good Will Hunting co-stars, Damon and Affleck have upcoming projects as well. Damon is part of the illustrious ensemble cast of Ocean’s 12, the sequel of course to the wildly popular Ocean’s 11, scheduled to open in December. This time around, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his gang of thieves attempt to pull off three separate heists — in Amsterdam, Rome, and Paris. Of course, in pursuit is the revenge-seeking casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), whom Ocean and crew ripped off in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Ben Affleck, desperately hoping his own cursed movie career will improve, will star in Man About Town, a story about a Hollywood talent agent whose life begins to spiral out of control after his wife has an affair and as a local reporter seems absorbed with trying to bring him down. There was nothing horrifying about the Red Sox World Series win (unless you’re a Yankees fan), but Stephen King ties in former Red Sox pitcher — and now Yankees reliever — Tom Gordon in his upcoming novel, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. In the story, a 9-year-old girl gets lost in the woods in Maine. Peril and dread ensue, especially as night falls, and she finds her only comfort to be her Walkman, which she uses to listen to Red Sox broadcasts. I wonder if King, following the lead of the Farrelly brothers, will incorporate the Red Sox victory into the novel. After all, it might just give the little girl some reason to keep the faith.

Archived article by Avash Kalra
Sun Staff Writer