Synopsis: An unsuccessful hockey player, Happy Gilmore, is pushed to use his skills toward golfing to save his grandmother’s home.
• Easily one of Adam Sandler’s most palatable films that purely applied his brand of humor.
• An overall strong parody of the sports genre, and of golf itself.
• The film’s antagonists, Shooter (Christopher McDonald) and Hal L. (Ben Stiller), truly make up for any of the film’s weaknesses.
• Had a big heart.
• Professional golfers have attempted Gilmore’s methods with some success.
• Somewhat simple and predictable plot.
• Can come off as overly harsh, especially with Gilmore’s short temper.
• Gilmore may come off as unlikeable through much of the film.
• Though the laugh is not forced, some of the slapstick does not strongly add to the plot.
With notable exceptions like Kingpin (1996), sports films generally have a predictable plot. The protagonist, usually an underdog, succeeds, and everyone is better for it. So, the key becomes how the protagonist finds a way to succeed. Gilmore starts off as a kind of short-tempered fool that floated through life. It was clear he never considered anything other than professional hockey, but foolishly never sought help in the matter. Indeed, it was an easy pondering of how he would have fared if he had genuine hockey coaching. Regardless, he almost implausibly pushed through his own personality weaknesses to do something that was not for himself perhaps for the first time in his life. We supported this underdog, because we wanted him to be the better person he was capable of being.
Rotten Tomatoes — 60%
Happy Gilmore and Real Golf: