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Release year: 1996
Director: Dennis Dugan
Screenwriter: Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler
Starring: Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Julie Brown, Frances Bay, Carl Weathers, Allen Covert, Richard Kiel
Things are not going well for Happy Gilmore (Sandler). He has once again been rejected at hockey tryout and his beloved grandmother (Bay) will lose her house, unless she gets enough money to pay her back taxes. By chance Gilmore discovers he can make a golf ball fly further than most people and with the help of retired golf star Chubbs (Weathers) he enters the professional golf tournaments to earn the move for his grandmother’s house. Gilmore is a breath of fresh air and soon becomes a fan favorite, but Shooter McGavin (McDonald) is determined to win the tournament this year.
The second starring role for Sandler (The Wedding Singer, 1998) sees him do a juvenile take on what is probably one of the most posh and serious sports. Teaming up with director Dugan and screenwriter Herlihy, both of whom he ended up working with again on several occasions, he made the sport approachable for everyone. As with many of his characters, especially earlier ones, Happy seems to suffer from form of anger issue but he has his heart in the right place, which makes him mostly sympathetic. There are silly moments, funny moments and sweet moments and watching Happy play golf is more entertaining than one might expect, but the winning part of the movie is a colourful variety of supporting characters. Be it McDonald (Thelma & Louise, 1991), who is just so damn good as a villain, Bob Barker as ‘himself’ in one of the funniest part and Kiel (Moonraker, 1979) as noticeable as always, the support is so great it almost steals the show.
When Dennis Dugan told Bob Barker that a stunt double would be used in the fight scene, Barker insisted on doing his own stunts, saying, “Wait a minute, I know how to fight.”
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Picture copyrights: UIP