Happy Gilmore (1996)


Today’s review was requested by my friend Scott (who spends more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff). That movie is one of Adam Sandler’s best comic offerings, Happy Gilmore (starring Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Julie Bowen, Frances Bay, and Apollo Creed himself, Carl Weathers). People have claimed that this movie is the poor man’s Caddyshack, but I didn’t grow up with Caddyshack, I grew up with Happy Gilmore.

Happy Gilmore is the story of a hot-tempered hockey player wannabee named Happy Gilmore (Sandler, of course). He sucks out loud at almost every aspect of playing hockey, saved only by his ability to whoop on ass and his amazingly powerful (if not accurate) shot. Soon after the beginning of the movie, Gilmore’s girlfriend ditches him because he’s a loser, leaving him the only source of happiness in his life, his grandmother (Bay). But disaster strikes when it comes to Gilmore’s attention that his grandmother has neglected to pay taxes in quite some time, leading to her losing her house. Gilmore’s only hope of helping out his beloved grandmother is to make the money to pay for the house. He’s forced to leave his grandmother in the care of Ben Stiller (an abusive orderly at the nursing home). While the moving people are taking a break, Sandler makes a bet with them to get them back to work that he can best Will Sasso’s golf drive. Turns out Gilmore’s ability to smack a puck translates into a roughly 450 yard drive, much to the chagrin of the people at the bottom of his street. Gilmore, being a somewhat slow witted individual, jumps to his first idea, placing bets on the length of his drive at a golf range. Chubs (Weathers), a retired golf pro sans one hand, convinces him to get into professional golf to make the big moneys. Here he meets his soon to be girlfriend (Bowen) and his nemesis, Shooter McGavin (McDonald). The rest of the movie follows Gilmore as he tries to learn golf, save his grandmothers house, and take out his McGavin.

This movie was fairly poorly reviewed on Rotten Tomatoes, getting a measly 59%, but I reserve a special place in my heart for it. Now, I don’t believe it to be a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination, and I could never possibly enjoy it as much as my friend Scott, but I am quite fond of it. There are many hilarious parts to this movie (Gilmore getting his ass handed to him by Bob Barker, for the win!). Being a Sandler movie, there are of course numerous SNL and non-SNL cameos, including the aforementioned Ben Stiller and Will Sasso, as well as Robert Smigel and Kevin Nealon. Kevin Nealon, upon rewatching, plays what I assume is his same character from Grandma’s Boy who apparently golfs in his off time. And I would have to say that Christopher McDonald as Shooter McGavin may be one of the best asshole antagonists ever, at least in a comedy. He is so over the top with it that you hope that no one that is this big of a prick would ever exist in real life. If McDonald was the sweetest, nicest guy ever in real life, I would still have a strong urge to punch him in the face. Which I think is a compliment at how well the man plays a prick.

As I said, this isn’t a perfect movie, so there’s negative to be said about this movie. The most obvious one being the premise of the movie. It’s certainly a far-fetched and overused premise in movies that whenever life finds you in need of money, life will present you with a strange over the top opportunity to make the money you need. The positive that can be said about this is “Who cares?” I’ve always felt that this should be taken into account more with comedies. When you think of movies like Hot Tub Time Machine and, to a lesser extent, the Hangover, the premise of the movie is usually pretty far fetched. But these premises are simply a way to get to a point where they can tell the hilarious jokes that they want to, so let it go. Let the movie entertain you and just shut your brain off for a bit and enjoy. Also, I want to say that they could’ve picked a hotter love interest, but that’s not what I’m thinking. Perhaps I just mean they could have picked a better hair style. I mean, I know Bowen was going for a business professional and all, but she’s got dike-hair.

I actually wish this movie was worse so that I could say “I eat pieces of shit like this movie for breakfast”, but I can’t say that. You should’ve seen this movie by now, but if you haven’t you should check it out, though you’ll probably not enjoy it as much as you would have when your sense of humor was less discerning in your youth. This movie is the reason that I love Subway so much, and the reason I lost my virginity to an elderly Asian woman. So watch this movie, and now I’m gonna go to Sizzler, get some grub.

One response to “Happy Gilmore (1996)

  1. I hold a record. I was the only guy to take off his skate and try and stab some one with it. Classic! Caddyshack was a great golf movie but this movie and Billy Madison is what put sandier on the map. Listen, anything that makes golf a little more exciting is gonna be a step in the positive direction.

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