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Happy Gilmore
1996 - PG-13 - 93 Mins.
Director: Dennis Dugan
Written By: Adam Sandler
Starring: Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Kevin Nealon, Julie Bowen, and Carl Weathers as Chubbs Peterson
Review by: John Ulmer
"Happy Gilmore" is a funny comedy; perhaps Sandler's finest (I know, it's not saying much, but...).

Adam Sandler plays Happy Gilmore, an impulsive and crazy hockey player with a slight problem: He has absolutely no skill at hockey whatsoever. So after Chubbs (Carl Weathers)--an ex-golfer with a missing hand--sees Happy's slapshot, he immediately thinks that this will be it. He can give back to the golfing community. He's lost his hand, so he'll teach another person to become a pro. So Chubbs offers Happy a deal: Chubbs will coach Happy how to play golf at no cost. Happy refuses, until his ninety-something Grandma loses her home to the IRS. "Why didn't you pay your bills?" Happy asks her. "Because," she says, "I didn't have any money!" So Happy looks into golf and realizes how much money one can make out of it. He immediately gets back to Chubbs and agrees to let Chubbs teach him how to play golf, in a last ditch effort to gain back his Grandma's home. So Happy takes his rough-life to the golf course and single-handedly dismantles what golfing is all about: He turns golf into a "cool" sport, instead of an "old" sport. He verbally assaults both caddies, spectators and golf balls, throws his golf clubs into the distance, dives under water in a pond to retrieve a missing golf ball, and tackles an alligator on a golf course. Yep, it's Sandler all right. And the best thing about Gilmore is that not only is he a TERRIFIC golf player, but the ratings on the television have gone up major points. Just as everything is starting to turn out for Happy, another problem wanders along. Evil golfer Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald) has purposely bought Grandma's house to tease Happy. So Shooter makes a deal with Happy that if he wins the final competition, he gets the house back. If he doesn't...he's pretty screwed.

Adam Sandler isn't the greatest comedian in the world, but he is looked down on pretty fiercely by the elderly. I would feel sorry for him, but the younger crowds adore him; besides, it's hard to feel sorry for someone when they're single-handedly making fun of you and don't seem to care what you think. But regardless of Sandler's personal life and personality, he fit the persona of Happy Gilmore like a glove. I mean, really, who else do you expect to be shouting at people and throwing golf clubs about in a film like this? Exactly. Adam Sandler.

There are a lot of stupid things in this movie, including the mandatory on-the-side-romance. But I must say, it's not as tragic as the romance in "Billy Madison."

I couldn't help but feel the movie took the easy way out a few times, and kind of cheated the audience. For example: In one scene they are going over the ratings, and the "main golf guy" says the ratings are so high that they won't get rid of Gilmore. This is while a television is playing with Happy swearing and throwing golf clubs around. The golf administrators seem pretty pathetically shallow to just say, "Hey, the rating's are up! He's a keeper!" when Happy is doing that. This may sound like real-life marketing, but when you see the film, you'll know what I mean. Another thing is how almost everything and everyone other than the main characters are a bunch of shallow freaks. The movie plays a lot like "Billy Madison" in that sort of way. Many of the characters--other than Happy and the main cast--are shallow idiots. Unfortunately, sometimes this results in the audience being treated as an idiot as well. And then there are certain bits that are just too dumb, even for a slapstick of this measure. For example, in one scene, a maniac drives his car onto the golf course and runs over Happy. The way it is done os so over-the-top that you can't help but think, what were they thinking? But it's not a biggie: I don't go into films like these expecting an epic. I just wish they would put a bit more thought into it.

"Happy Gilmore" may not be the most thoughtfully inventive film to come out of Hollywood in recent years, but that doesn't matter in a film like this. I go into a movie like "Happy Gilmore" looking for two things: One, some good laughs. Two: There is no two. I just want good laughs, plain and simple. And "Happy Gilmore" delivers that happily, no matter how much you hate Adam Sandler.
Movie Guru Rating
Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental. Entertaining and well crafted.  May not be worth the price of a theater ticket, but a solid rental.
  3.5 out of 5 stars

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