This week brings us the 25th anniversary of the craptastic Caddyshack II. CSII is the largely forgotten (and deservingly so) sequel to the recently deceased Harold Ramis movie Caddyshack, a much-beloved movie about an elite country club that has to deal with a brash new member (Rodney Dangerfield in the role of a lifetime), the struggles of finding money for college, teenage pregnancy, and most importantly, a gopher intent on destroying the course. The difference between the two movies by critic and public perception is tremendous: Caddyshack holds a 76% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.com, while Caddyshack II holds an excruciating 5%. Just to put that in perspective, From Justin To Kelly scored a 10%. Yeah, the movie about those two American Idol winners dancing around and singing to each other for one hour and twenty-one minutes is supposedly twice as good. That’s painful.
Caddyshack is undeniably the greatest golf movie ever made. But that said, there really aren’t that many movies about golf. I mean there’s hundreds about baseball, football, basketball, hell I’m sure even soccer (I think Bend it Like Beckham was about soccer, right?, or maybe it was a porn, I’m not 100% sure), but it’s kind of hard to make a film about a sport that basically involves standing around and talking to your caddy. Few writers and directors have tried, and even less have succeeded. So in today’s post, we will discuss the world of golf’s best and worst movies. Enjoy!
Best – Tin Cup (1996)
Tin Cup tells the story of a washed-up driving range pro named Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy (Kevin Costner). He has a reputation in his small Texas town of never being able to turn down a challenge, and always “going for it”, which has ultimately resulted in him being a broke driving range owner who dates strippers and give golf lessons to locals for cash (to avoid troubles with the IRS). On one such lesson he meets pretty new local Molly Griswold (Renee Russo), who’s also the new town psychiatrist. He immediately likes her, as she challenges him much more than what he is used to, but Roy comes to find that she is currently dating his biggest rival from back in his college days, David Simms (Don Johnson). Simms is a professional golfer, who unlike Roy, has become quite successful and rich, and Roy makes it his mission to join the PGA Tour, beat David Simms, and eventually win the heart of Molly. Along the way, many beers are drunk, many clubs are broken, and many bets are placed.
If you read my post a few blogs back, this movie is a lot like Bull Durham, which makes sense, because Bull Durham was also written and directed by Ron Shelton, and once again starred Kevin Costner. Substitute Renee Russo for Susan Sarandon, Don Johnson for Tim Robbins, and throw in Cheech Marin for good measure, and you have Tin Cup. All in all not a bad movie, and one that can be enjoyed even if you don’t know anything about golf.
Worst – Who’s Your Caddy? (2007)
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never seen this movie, but I read the review of it on Rotten Tomatoes, and it sounds basically like an updated (rip-off) version of Caddyshack. Instead of an imposingly hilarious Rodney Dangerfield trying to gain access to an uptight country club, we have Antwan Andre Patton (aka Big Boi), as a rapper who is trying to gain access to an uptight country club, and I’m sure racial stereotypes abound, such as white people dancing, black people smoking pot, and at some point an old white lady raps.
Since I haven’t seen it, and just know that it sucks (it has a 6% fresh rating on RT), I really can’t say much more about it. But I’ll give it at least one taco, because the main character is in OutKast, and I love me some OutKast.
Best – Happy Gilmore (1996)
Happy Gilmore harkens back to a simpler time, when Adam Sandler was riding a wave of funny movies (such as Billy Madison), and we hadn’t yet been subjected to the likes of Jack and Jill, Chuck and Larry, and Grown Ups 2. This movie tells the story of hockey player Happy Gilmore (Sandler), who never can make a semi-professional team, because unfortunately he cannot ice skate, but what he does have is one killer slap-shot. After his grandmother’s house is put up for foreclosure, he is baited into a bet with some furniture movers, to see who can hit a golf ball the furthest. On his first attempt, he hits the ball farther than anyone ever has before, and decides in order to save his grandmother’s house from foreclosure, he will join the PGA Tour to win some cash and save the day. Along the way, he is tutored by a retired golf-pro Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers) who lost his hand to an alligator, he becomes interested in attractive public relations manager Virginia (Julie Bowen), and Happy becomes ensnared in battle with tour hotshot “Shooter” McGavin (Christopher McDonald), who doesn’t like seeing this young and fun kid steal his limelight on what would be his best season. Hilarity ensues.
Unfortunately after Happy Gilmore, Sandler would go on to put out a slew of really shitty movies (alright I’ll give you The Wedding Singer), but this movie did manage to find a perfect balance between stupid-humor fart jokes and gags, an engaging story-line, and even a little heart. You also get to see Adam Sandler fist-fighting Bob Barker, so that alone makes it worth three tacos.
Worst- The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
On paper this movie had everything: a young Matt Damon, fresh off such hits as Good Will Hunting and Saving Private Ryan, it had the ever beautiful and talented Charlize Theron, it had Robert Redford at the helm directing the picture, and throw in a Will Smith for good measure. What it didn’t have was an audience, earning back only about half of it’s budget in theaters. It was hard to become engaged with this story, it seems like it’s one part The Great Gatsby, two parts The Natural (both of which starred Redford), add in a black Jiminy Cricket, and here is your movie.
Basically a snooze-fest, I’ve only seen this movie once, and that was enough for me. But I’ll give it a taco, because like I said, wow is Charlize Theron beautiful.
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