Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) longs to be a hockey player but he doesn’t have the necessary skills to become a professional player. Frustrated, Happy’s troubles get worse when he finds out his grandmother (Frances Bay) is being forced out of her home because she owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to the IRS. Told that his grandmother has 90 days to come up with the money or the house will be auctioned, Happy discovers that his powerful slapshot could enable him to win a golf tournament, enabling him to help his grandmother keep her home.
‘Happy Gilmore’ was originally released in 1996 and it was a moderate box office hit across the globe. Universally shot down by the critics, like pretty much every film Sandler has made, it struck a chord with audiences and went on to be something of a comedy classic. The premise is a simply fish-out-of-water scenario and it’ll depend on how tolerant you are of Sandler as to whether or not you’ll like the film.
Happy is taken under the wing of pro golfer Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers), who sees potential in him, and Pro Golf Tour public relations director Virginia Venit (Julie Bowen), who becomes his love interest. Despite having the talent to make it as a golfer, Happy can’t control his temper and his foul-mouthed tirades on the course threaten to put his burgeoning career in jeopardy. Add to that competition from arrogant golfer Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald) and Happy has a steep hill to climb if he wants to win the competition.
I never saw ‘Happy Gilmore’ the first time round so it was interesting to watch Fabulous Films’ new Blu-ray release 24 years on from the film’s original theatrical run. As with all Sandler films, there are plenty of laughs to be had here, as long as you don’t take the film very seriously. Sandler has always gone for visual gags and that’s definitely the case here. Happy’s coach Chubbs has a wooden hand following an incident with an alligator, and that becomes a running joke throughout the film.
The cast is full of capable comedy actors. Julie Bowen, who went on to star in ‘Modern Family’, is good here as Happy’s love interest and James Bond star Richard Kiel shows he had more to his talents than simply playing Jaws in that franchise. Carl Weathers is the standout as Happy’s coach while Sandler himself gives, well a classic Sandler performance.
The Blu-ray edition of ‘Happy Gilmore’ looks great. The picture is crisp and clear, and the sound much improved from the DVD release. Extras on the disc include deleted scenes and a handful of outtakes.
‘Happy Gilmore’ is a harmless enough film that will make you laugh and entertain you, as long as you can stand Sandler. I personally think that Sandler comes in for a lot of unfair criticism and ‘Happy Gilmore’, while not an incredible film, is a solid comedy that reflects the decade it was released in well. Get out the popcorn, assemble some friends (or family) and just enjoy it for what it is.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Julie Bowen, Christopher McDonald, Carl Weathers, Frances Bay Director: Dennis Dugan Writers: Tim Herlihy and Adam Sandler Certificate: 12 Duration: 92 mins Released by: Fabulous Films Release date: 12th October 2020 Buy ‘Happy Gilmore’