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Happy Gilmore (1996)

He doesnt just play golf… he destroys it

Directed by:

Dennis Dugan

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 92 minutes

UK Certificate: 12


Back when Adam Sandler’s perma-yelling routine was still something new, the hit-and-miss US funnyman (a description often open to debate) co-wrote and starred in this hugely enjoyable comedy about a failed ice hockey player who discovers an unusual talent for golf.

Before long Happy Gilmore (Sandler), with his on-course rants and crowd-pleasing antics, is golf’s man of the moment. That means good news for his dear old granny (Frances Bay), who’s had her house repossessed by the tax man and could really do with the golf tour prize money to buy it back. It’s either that or spend the rest of her days cooped up in a retirement home under the tyrannical regime of an uncredited Ben Stiller (sporting a whopping great handlebar moustache and delivering lines like ‘you can trouble me for a nice warm glass of shut the Hell up’).

Things seem to be going pretty well for the Hapster, until he makes an unfortunate enemy in big-shot tour veteran Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald). So unfolds a veritable clash of the titans (of sorts) as Happy and Shooter tee-off and do battle for 1st place, Grandma’s house and a much sought-after gold jacket.

Much of this is standard Sandler fair, but the laughs are bigger and better than in most of his later attempts and there’s an above-average supporting cast on-hand to pull it off. Carl Weathers is a far cry from his ‘Rocky’ or ‘Predator‘ days as wooden-handed club pro Chubbs Peterson, but it’s McDonald who steals the show as the brilliantly-wicked Shooter.

Don’t watch this expecting an example of classic film-making (not that anyone familiar with Sandler’s back catalogue would do such a thing anyway), because you’ll be sorely disappointed. But ‘Happy Gilmore’ consistently delivers chuckle-worthy comic material and never fails to entertain.

It's Got: Stateside gameshow host Bob Barker indulging in a bout of fisticuffs with Mr Sandler (I dont want a piece of you – I want the whole thing).

It Needs: To be given a chance, even by those carrying an understandable dislike for all things Sandler.

DVD Extras Production notes, cast info and theatrical trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 2/10


Billy Madison, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer


Raucous, funny and entertaining – much better than most would expect.

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