Happy Gilmore Cover Did you know that golf is a sport that was originated by Arabic Eskimos? True story. One day, some Arab ice-picker accidentally dropped his ball onto his fishing-line, and inadvertently plopped his tweeter into a watery crevice. OK, so if you don’t believe me, then why don’t you ask Director: Dennis Dugan; and Actors: Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Christopher McDonald, and Julie Bowen. Specifically in 1996 for 95 minutes.

Happy Gilmore

Now I am sorry to say that sadistic hockey player, Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler), is not a very happy bunny at the moment.

You see, one day, he hears the sad news that his grandmother (Frances Bay) is going to loose her house to the IRS, unless she pays them the back taxes that she owes them within ninety days.

However, by chance of fate, whilst leaving his grandmothers house, Happy suddenly realizes that he is very good at hitting a golf ball a very long way away - thus prompting him to test this new-found skill at a driving range.

Next – at the range – Happy meets an ex-golfer, Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers), whom encourages him to enter a golfing tournament so that he can win himself a bit of cash for his gran.

So does Happy enter this tournament? Yes – somewhat reluctantly he does. And does he win it? Yes – somehow he does that too. And in so doing, a number of scenarios gradually enter his domain.

Firstly, upon wining this game, Happy comes to the realization that even though his ‘long game’ is very good, his ‘short game’ is much to be desired. Secondly, he is introduced to an arrogant golfer called Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald), whom accompanies Happy on his next golf tournament. Thirdly, he befriends a Public Relations Director for the PGT called Virginia Venit (Julie Bowen), who seems to like him a lot. And fourthly, he hires a hobo, Otto (Allen Covert), to be his caddy.

OK, so what happens next to Happy once he starts his golfing career? Is he able to raise enough money to get his grandmother out of a sadistic nursing home (managed by Ben Stiller) and then buy her house back for her? Errr? A lot of things happen to Happy, with both positive and negative repercussions.

On the plus side, his eccentric behavior on the golf course makes Happy a household name, and propels the game of golf into the media spotlight – as well as the adulation of fans and Virginia alike. Whilst on the negative side, Shooter takes an instant disliking to Happy, and he tries his best to throw him off his game by nefarious means.

And does Shooters ploys work? Is he able to give Happy the old heave hoe? Hmm? Kind of, though with some assistance from Virginia, some encouragement from grandma, and some training from Chubbs, Happy finds a way to arrange a face off between himself and Shooter – so that they can settle their differences with a match between the two, for the ownership of grandma’s house.

Now what then transpires is a rather farcical affair all in all. As people fall – cars crash – Happy finds his focus – and the fate of the future lies on the sinking of a little white ball and an orange over-coat.

'Happy Gilmore' is one of those formulaic Adam Sandler films where a dilemma is posed, a silly solution is presented, and a story is cast in stone. OK, I have to admit, after a while, this type of ‘paint it by numbers’ movie is somewhat irritating to watch – as I can feel myself dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s whilst the flick is being played.

First comes the pretext, then comes the resolution, after that the dynamics are laid, next is the love interest, and finally... sigh... a conclusion that was expected from the get go.

Happy Gilmore cast
Fair enough, most ‘sports comedy’ films are done in a very similar way. I just would have liked something with a bit more ‘edge’ is all - especially from a film with a roguish Sandler!

However, at times, this film is able to give us that edge, and does so with a cameo appearance here (Lee Trevino, Bob Barker, Richard Kiel, and Mark Lye), a quick one-liner there (The price is wrong, bitch), and a bit of slapstick to boot (fighting an alligator for a golf ball). Oh! And on top of that, there is the charm that this movie brings along with it as well.

Now what I mean by this, is that the underlining message this film has – yes, it does have a message – is to do what you feel comfortable with, and to do it for a good reason. So no matter what else I say about this film – which is to come – you have to keep in mind that the centre of this film is very wholesome and warm (even though brash slapstick violence is involved). 

Happy Gilmore Golf

Unfortunately, though, with the good of 'Happy Gilmore', also comes the bad of  'Happy Gilmore'. Well – to be completely Frank about it – it is not the best comedy in the world, and is does plod along in its formulaic tracks too much at times, that you can easily second guess what is going to happen next. Granted, all the cast involved really do a good job with the script that they were given – especially Adam, Carl, and Christopher. But you can only go so far with something that has been done to death by now, that it does start to become groan-worthy comedy in places.

Still, overall, this film is not a bad-bad film. I think that you may appreciate it a bit more than I have if you have not seen an Adam Sandler film in some time. Also, there are genuinely some funny bit’s scattered though out also – as they do make you laugh one of those laughs that fill you up as if you've had a stiff drink.

Angry Happy Gilmore

So if you like Adam Sandler plus his past works – and don’t mind sports comedies on the same lines as 'Dodgeball', 'Cadyshack 2', and 'The Waterboy' (click on respective links for the reviews)  – this one will make you happy... ‘Gilmore’ happy.


HAPPY GILMORE HAPPY GILMORE Reviewed by David Andrews on February 15, 2012 Rating: 5
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