DIRECTOR: RON SHELTON
COUNTRY: USA 1996
CINEMATOGRAPHY: RUSSELL BOYD
MUSIC: WILLIAM ROSS
CAST: Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Cheech Marin, Linda Hart, Don Johnson, Dennis Burkley, & a bunch of golf pros
SUPER FEATURES: Costner is actually pretty good.
Kevin Costner is either doing the right thing, or he is finaly learning how to be an actor. Or perhaps, this is the director's show, that spent much time making sure the interplay of lines is smooth and working well, be they with Cheech Marin or Rene Russo. Regardless, the majority of actors here seem to be working to make the project fun and enjoyable, and at the same time, having some rather nice acting moments in between.
Wether the golfing is credible or not, is another story, but the situation around it is rather interesting and promising.
The film is about an ex-pro who has pretty much given up on life and golf, and spends the rest of his time in a run down road to nowhere golf range that he has set up, where he picks up a few dollars here and there in some lessons. It seems that one of the things this man has never learned in playing the golf game, is that there are times to challenge, and then there are times to lay up, or play it safe. This man quit because he could not deal with the few failures he had when he did not lay up.
And he meets a therapist who wants a golf lesson. It turns out she is going out with his old school chum, now a famous golf pro, whose attitude is a bit on the bs side of things.
They get together again, when the pro decides that he wants his old friend to caddy for him in an upcoming tournament he wants to win. All is fine, in the tournament until Craig Stadler does not listen to a golfing suggestion he makes. After the two pros shoot their round, Craig sets up an odds thing to see if the Costner character can do what he says can be done. And of course, he does do it, and the pros have to pay up as well as a whole gallery that decided to get in on the fun.
From this point on, the old friend fires his ex-friend as caddy. And the story really starts. With the help of the therapist, who gets her own words mixed in the situation, he finaly gets into the US Open, the one tournament that anyone can enter, pro or amateur alike. And he is doing very well in the tournament until he comes up to his favorite hole, where he has dunked the ball the previous three days. But this time, he is going to be himself, and stubborn to the end. He keeps hitting his shot until it no longer falls into the water, and leaves the announcers aghast because he could have played it safe like everyone else, and gotten into a playoff with the other pros. Naaaahhh, he's going to get his shot and be remembered for it, even if the score sucks.
Well, it isn't exactly the best film ever made, but it is good fun and the lines and interplay in this film is worked on carefully, and actually makes this a better film than it really is. Other than that, there are a couple of well placed songs here and there in the soundtrack that makes this film a bit more fun.
Enjoyable, but not an artsy film by any means.
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