There's a theory out there that no one really LIKES golf. It has to be the most frustrating sport in the world. That little hole has certainly sent people over the edge since the creation of the sport. Golf simply exists to let people vent their frustrations of day-to-day life. The same could probably be said for hockey, which is why "Happy Gilmore" is the perfect guy for the sport.
With his grandmother's house repossessed, Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) must come up with a huge sum of money within 90 days, or the IRS will take the house his grandfather built. Thanks to a rather lucky circumstance, Happy learns that he has the ability to drive a golf ball 400+ yards with every swing. Now under the tutelage of golf legend Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers), Gilmore joins the pro tour to earn some money and hopefully buy back the house he grew up in.
If you enjoy Sandler comedies (and you probably know by now if you do), then "Happy Gilmore" is probably high up on a favorite movie list of yours. This is easily his best quirky comedy, ripping the sport apart for all of its attempts at being "proper." It has plenty of jokes to keep the comedy coming throughout the brief hour and a half running time and a ton of entertainment value to go along with it.
Sure Sandler steals the movie, but the rest of the cast compliments him nicely. Christopher McDonald plays shooter McGavin, Happy's arch nemesis on the tour, to perfection. You learn early and quickly how much you hate him. Julie Bowen plays the love interest and the tour PR person, constantly trying to just keep Gilmore on the tour. Cameos include one of the most memorable in movie history by a game show host, Bob Barker, and Lee Trevino who gets in a few hilarious quips as the film moves along.
There are not many surprises here. The movie exists solely to get the next scene and produce more laughs. You can probably guess how the finale will pan out from the start of the hilarious opening credits. It's not a huge flaw and you generally don't expect much in the way of deep storylines from a movie like this anyway.
Either you like Sandler or you don't. This isn't a review or a film that's going to change your perception about the subject. Regardless of your thoughts, it's not very hard to see exactly WHY people can find themselves breaking down into tears as Sandler's antics in "Happy Gilmore." (**** out of *****)
It's almost on the level of urban legend that some mysterious widescreen version of this movie exists on DVD. Well, as least it used to be. After years of watching the movie on the USA Network (seemingly at least once a week), this disc finally brings the movie home like it should be. This remastered 1.85:1 print is absolutely flawless with no imperfections as all. Color has been brought out to incredible levels, the flesh tones are dead on, and the entire picture has an incredible layer of clarity. Compression is well under control (though you can really see it during the ice skating scene for a brief period) and there is no edge enhancement to speak of. (*****)
The movie premiered using the DTS format, and this disc includes that track along with standard 5.1 audio. The surrounds hardly get any work at all, even during some of the more crowded segments on the course. Ambience is minimal. Bass is provided by the countless punches and the super-swing of Gilmore. This is a serviceable audio track that really doesn't do much more than it's supposed to, and that's a bit of a disappointment, especially after seeing how well the video was handled. (***)
There are no trailers for the film, but this disc does have a few extras. The most entertaining, as always, are the outtakes. There are some great clips here that are bound to provide a few laughs. The final extra are some deleted scenes. Though there is some humor here, these are all scenes that should have been cut. This isn't an earth-shattering mix of extras, but much like the audio, it just gives you a little something extra to keep you happy. (***)
This disc comes only as part of the "Happy Gilmore/Billy Madison Collection." Yes, you have to buy both, as they are not available separately. It's a weak move by Universal since not everyone is a fan of both films. Still, this one alone is worth the price of admission.