Adam Sandler Month: Happy Gilmore

Hello, Spongey here. Welcome back to Adam Sandler Month!

I decided to take a step backwards. we looked at Sandler’s very first role, which may be one of the worst film ever made.

however, i’d like to look at the movie that put him on he map. he started out, as you know, on Saturday Night live, which put him in the mainstream as a successful actor, and he even met his merry band of idiots there.

so at the height of his fame, his producers decided to give him a film, which became a huge hit that some people still enjoy to this day. It was THE film that started his career, and set the tone with which his later movies would follow.

This movie is Directed by Dennis dugan, who is Sandler’s main director, helming most of his “well known” pictures. this includes jack and jill.

you can tell that i dislike this man. infact, i think he was on the worst directors ever, as most of his later films make people like uwe boll or ed wood look like jesus.

anyway, this film was written by Sandler and      Tim Herlih who….wrote the last two films we reviewed. yeah, as you can see Adam sandler keeps getting the same people to churn out bullshit.

but whatever. i’d like to look Sandler’s first classic, and see if it still holds today. i have not seen  it prior to this review, and everything  i know about the film was in the trailer.

is it deserving of it’s box office? is it as good as the internet says it is? does it still hold up to this day? let’s find out!

This, is Happy Gilmore

the movie opens with some home video footage, and of course, narration by Sandler. wow, it didn’t take long for him to show up.

Here, he plays the titular happy gilmore. the narration tells us that as a kid, he loved hockey. his dad was big on it too and they bonded over it

but his mom was not, so she moved to Egypt. ….k?,. then his father died, and had to move in with his grandmother

“she dressed like gene Simmons from kiss to cheer me up”

….sure, why not

shortly after his father’s death, sandler got a short fuse. as in, he got pissed at people easily, and no one liked him. he wasn’t too good at hockey,  and spent most of his time in the penalty box

after some failed jobs, he decides he just wants to play hockey. we join him as he trying out for a team. but, because of the whole fuse thing, he doesn’t make it

so he heads back to his apartment to hang with his girlfriend, but right as he comes home, she pretty much dumps him. wah wah

the reasoning isn’t so far fetched: he talks too much about hockey, and he sucks at it. naturally, he is pissed

“well your  a lousy kindergarten teacher! i’ve seen those finger paintings you bring home, they suck! ….I”m sorry babe, i don’t mean that. i think they are excellent finger paintings”

hell, i chuckled at that a little. maybe this movie will be good!

but they have to ruin it, by doing the same “I’m sorry babe i didn’t mean it” thing after the next thing he says. bah

he is talking to her through some intercom thing, so he promises her he’ll be love-y and does kissing noises….and then it backs to show she left, and a kid is standing there hearing this

will you hate me if i laughed at that too?

but once again, they ruin it by stretching it out to the point where it stops being funny. anyway, the next morning, he heads to his grandmother’s place

he learns that she  has not paid her taxes for many years. As such, she owes $270,000 to the IRS, and the house that Happy’s grandfather “built with his bare hands” is about to be seized. The IRS dude here tells us that, and sandler is fine with it

“I’m not mad at you”

cut to Sandler throwing him angrily out the door. okay, i laughed at that too. it was just off beat, and even if it dumb,. i got a chuckle there

so grandma is taken to a nursing home while sandler tries to fix her problem. okay, now we have our first overdone cliche in place!

as soon as sandler walks off, one of the workers at the home starts getting pissy at grandma. he is played by ben stiller in an uncredited cameo. nice

he heads back to grandma’s house, for whatever reason, as he spots the movers taking a break to play golf. they dare him to try out so he does

he starts hitting, and he actually does pretty well.  okay, he hits people in a “Meh” gag but other than that, he has talent

This gives Happy the idea to go to the driving range to hustle golfers with his swing. one guy there notices sandler’s progress and thinks he should be a full time golf player

this guy is Chubbs Peterson, (played by apollo from the rocky movies). a former golf star  whose pro golf career ended when his right hand was bitten off by an alligator. he tells Sandler he could make it pro-golf but he turns him down

So Sandler chosen not to do something that fits his skills, but instead something that is beneath him. …this movie just predicted his career!

however, he tells sandler that he could make some serious money, so he accepts. so thus he enters the local tournament

despite some doubts from real golfers, he hits very well. but when it comes to actually putting he sucks. hey, he’s better at it than i am, at any rate

thankfully, he gets a hole in one on the next hole. with that, he gets better and  makes it to the final hole. he gets it and thus, he wins. some nice chsuckles are had here, but i was too lazy to quote them

However, Chubbs tells him that he should put off the pro circuits for a bit.  but Sandler says he needs to do this now

“spoken like a true asshole!”

hey, i laughed at that and didn’t feel guilty!

he heads to the nursing home and tells his grandma  the good news, oh, and ben still is an evil asshole, and will pretty much end her if she tells anyone, especially sandler. meh. so when Sandler asks why she can’t stand the place, she lies

so anyway, sandler joins the pro tour.  he meets up with some fancy golf types who tell sandler to meet them later. at night.

of coruse, no one shows up. see, this is where we meet our obvious, but sitll smei-fun villain, shooter Mcgavin.

oh, and now it’s love interest time! he bumps into tour PR head Virginia Venit/ they hit it off, and she tells him he’ll do fine. but enough at about that, let’s cut to the start of the tour

so who does it get for his caddy? a homeless man named otis. the credits says that is his name. but wait…..there was a homeless guy in jack and jill named otis….played by the same actor as the one in this..

THEY TAKE PLACE IN THE SAME UNIVERSE?!

i…..WHAT?!

okay sorry, this is have nothing to do with this film’s quality, so much as jack and jill’s. i’ll move on now

oh, and otis has a At&T shirt. ah Sandler, you never stop the annoying product placement. Sandler plays, and he does very well despite his…anger issues.

“Ball, go in your hole. it’s your home! are too good for your home!”

okay, i laughed there too. am i so de-zentized by sandler films that i’ll laugh at that?

“suck my white ass ball!”

…okay good, i’m not crazy. they just stretched a good gag so it’s not funny. whew.

speaking of, Sandler goes a bit too over the top in this scene. before he did angry yelling, but it was controlled and thus, funny. but here,. he goes so wild i think sandler will just explode, and not in the good way!

The commissioner (played by the film’s director) wants happy kicked out,  but Virgina says he is starting to get popular, and is giving them their best ratings ever. so he is allowed to stay on, but Virginia must make sure he cleans up his act

the commissioner meets up with happy later, and tells him some stuff, that sandler clearly doesn’t like. he tells Sandler to stay out of the way, as this is shooter’s big thing. oh yeah, two obvious villains for the price of one!

So later, Virginia tells him to clean up his act

“i don’t wanna be a big star, i wanna make some money”

yep, it’s sandler all right

he actually listens to her and considers acting nicer, though not stuffy. so the next day, the tour moves on

“i can’t belvie i have fans”

me neither. Seriously, so many lines open themselves for a crack at sandler’s carer.

sandler becomes popular and gets even more fans to his name. he signs a girl’s boobs….then a old lady’s boobs.

ugh.

he doesn’t win 100 percent,. but he still does and even cleans up his act and doesn’t yell as much. whoa…is this….CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT?!

then, during one game, the ball ends in the mouth of….an alligator. the same one that bit chubb’s hand. yeah, he said the gater had one eye, and this one has 1 eye so…yeah.

in a crowning moment of awesome, he kicks the gator’s ass and gets the ball. later, Shooter is talking with doug, the commissioner. shooter isn’t fond of sandler, and thinks he is destroying golf

however, doug won’t kick him out cuz he hasn’t broken any rules lately, and even if he isn’t the best player, he still makes money. okay, this has to be a sandler bio-pic, it has everything down!

anyway, Sandler meets up with Virginia, and goes on a date with her. he takes her ice skating, and they have fun. i don’t know, this romance feels a bit forced. the golf plot is decent enough, so why add in this? at least Mr deeds made it important, but with this more it’s kind of sudden

they have a talk, and i guess this will count as romantic development, as he tells her about the grandma thing. after more talk,  they kiss. whoop dee doo

so now it’s time for the pepsi-pro am. PRODUCT PLACEMENTLOLOLO. anyway, in this one the players team up with celebrities. Sandler is paired with….Bob barker

yeah, you know this scene. it was the trailer, and whenever this is brought up, this scene is mentioned. you know, it’s a meme, and you can’t deny it. so let’s just get it over with

Sandler doesn’t his best, cuz some annoying guy keeps calling him a jackass and stuff . bob isn’t happy that sandler can’t get the ball in the hole. eventually, bob bashes sandler so much that it sends him over the edge

and so…he punches him and they fight. yep, it’s that bit. you know this, and yeah….it’s kind of funny. one fight later, sandler knocks him down

“the price is wrong, bitch”

WE HAVE A  MEME!

seriously, i did chuckle at that, but it’s not the funniest thing ever….but i guess adam sandler punching bob barker was just a weirdly funny thing to see

bob walks off, and Shooter is happy that this was broadcast on TV, as it will finally knock sandler off his throne.

the commissioner calls Sandler for a meeting. he is fined for 25 grand and is suspended for one month, but not kicked for good, due to the high ratings he got.

so he and Virginia  go out to eat at subway (MOAR PRODUCT PLACEMENT) and discuss this.  just then, we cut to Sandler in a subway ad. wow, the movie made the ad for us. how nice! but yeah, Sandler  secures an endorsement deal with Subway because it’s a way to put out product placement without steering from the plot

and through that, he now has enough money to pay the fine and buy grandma’s house back. when he gets there though, he sees that it is being auctioned off.

sandler tries to buy it back, but is outbid by…shooter. uh,…what? why do this? you know that he is only doing this tour for money to buy the house. he even says that when he does, he’ll quit. so why do this? if you let him buy the house, he’s out of your hair!

he tells Sandler he will give him the house if he quits the tour….which he was gonna anyway. did i miss something?

Sandler agrees, for reasons i myself listed, but is dissuaded by Virginia, who tells him that his Grandma would rather see him succeed at life than have the house, and that his true talent lies in golfing. okay, that makes sense. and it shows actually character building1

Sandler then decides to make a bet with shooter based on the upcoming Tour Championship – if sandler wins, he gets the house. if shooter wins, sandler will quit. shooter agrees.

” i eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast”

“you peices of shit for breakfast?”

“…no”

FUNNIEST LINE IN THE MOVIE ALERT

so sandler visits chubbs,  so he can get help with training. so they first train…at a putt putt course. if stacy were here, she’d kick both their asses

this scene is what you’d expect, but it works as he learns to forget his anger, and go to his happy place. so learns to not let his anger control him and becomes a better golfer, and a better person

this surely is miles above going overboard, and mr deeds.

later, chubbs congratulates sandler on a job well done. sandler presents a present….the head of the alligator that took his hand. chubbs takes it well. and by that i mean he screams and fall out of the window to his death

what?

that’s….a bit random. and kind of out of nowhere. he just…dies? and it’s sandler’s fualt so i guess my praise was pointless. okay, i’ll be less harsh. i guess they needed an emotional backbone, but they could have  him die less…weirdly

Sandler feels bad and now wants to win the game for chubbs. i guess that’s something. of course shooter mocks him  for causing chubb’s death, and Sandler decides he’ll take out his anger by beating him in the tourney.

so….i guess it’s a month later. could have told us if this is a timeskip, since he was suspended for  a month, but whatever

long story short, they prove to be evenly matched. by the end of the third day of the tournament, sandler is in the lead.

so what does shooter? get his friend donald to run over sandler with a Volkswagen Beetle! …what? you are really that desperate that you will INJURE him? …well, he is a better villain that…well the last 3 we saw this month

so after donald, or shooter are not punished (?), Sandler tries to just walk it off so he can finish the game. and  i guess someone being ran over by  a car was only a minor inconvenience  for everyone, but it makes sense for sandler to get up due to his passion.

however, due to his injury, he cannot do the long drive like he normally can. but he sucks it up, and now has to rely on the putt to win. but he still sucks anyway, and his anger only builds

just then, his grandma shows up to support him. she tells to focus on being happy and making her proud, rather than just the house thing. as such, he gets to his true hapy place and is able to re-focus.

thus, he kicks some serious ass. it comes down to the final hole. however, the TV tower falls and blocks his shot for birdie. because of the “hit it as it lies rule” he has to live with this.

Sandler  then uses what Chubbs taught him on the miniature golf course to make a trick shot. and boom, crowning moment of awesome, and the charector development is complete.

so yay, he won and i’m happy, no pun intended. Shooter attempts to steal Sandler’s gold jacket, but is quickly beaten up by sandler”s old boss, Mr. Larson  a fine send off to a fun, though cliche, villain.

and so he wins the home, and is also a true golfer, and i guess he’s with Virgina. i guess. he has a few drinks with his friends, and he looks at the sky to see chubb’s ghost. he waves.

they walk into grandma’s house, as the credits roll. not much of a send off, but whatever, it’s fine.

Final Thoughts:

Yeah…i enjoyed this one. but why? it’s just as dumb as Sandler’s later flicks, so did i enjoy this one? i have no idea, but i liked it

but of course, it has problems. the romance is pointless, some jokes go on too long, and there a few plot holes that take me out of the movie. but besides that and other minor things, it’s fairly entertaining.

.

to be honest, Sandler is what ties this movie together. Happy is as jerkass woobie, and he is shown to be kind of nice early on ,. most sandler films would have be just an ass until the plot needs him to be nice. Happy has plenty of issues, what  with failing to make the hockey team, losing his girlfriend, and watching helplessly as Grandma gets evicted from her home, and his parents dying young. i could see why he was the he was so he becomes likeable in some parts.

Sandler bring this character to life, i admit, i did root for him. he also is funny and even he is hammy, i feel he tries hard to make his lines funny and it works out. but it’s during the climax where the character shines, as his well done character development comes to a head, and happy really changes and becomes a fine character in the end. Adam Sandler brings some charm to the table, and churns out a decent performance.

the rest of the movie is fine too. the villain is fun (though  a tad too cliche), some of the supporting cast is decent,  the story has some fine turns, and the film itself is short and sweet, without too much padding, though some jokes go on too long. it doesn’t drag and the rapid fire comedy style makes it go by fast, so even if you hate it, it won’t waste too much of your time.

I’m not saying it’s a godsend,. or an instant classic. it’s not for everyone, and i can see why some people may dislike it. to me, it’s simply a passable comedy that i may watch when it’s on TV. i don’t love it, but i do see it proof Sandler can be a little funny and pull out a decent performance.

i see why it was box office hit and why it started his career. on the other hand, jack and jill was the eventual result of this movie.

but hey, i still enjoy it

Grade: B-

Don’t worry kid’s, the next sandler film will be crap. See ya!

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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