Hey, if I watched a film for today, down by the bay, while laying in some hay, what do you say? If I just may, I saw the 1996 comedy (hey…):
*Note to self: Never do that rhyming shit again. Yikes.
Despite being one-half of Adam Sandler’s production company name Happy Madison (the back half referring to Billy Madison) that has churned out questionable film after another (except for Grandma’s Boy), Happy Gilmore is a seminal film in the canon of all-time great 90s comedies.
Adam Sandler was in his prime during the 90s and this was the start of the trend of more Hollywood-friendly hits like The Wedding Singer, Big Daddy, and 50 First Dates.
But Happy Gilmore had no intention of playing it safe. The film was vulgar and rude in the best of ways. Happy was a bipolar lunatic, who would turn on a dime if things didn’t go his way and beat the living piss out of anyone who confronted him.
His true passion was hockey, but his slap shot made him an unlikely dream for Pro Golf. So he reluctantly joins the Pro Tour to the chagrin of everyone, especially his rival: the pompous pro, Shooter McGavin.
Happy Gilmore lived and died on its characters. The story was a standard sports underdog tale, but it was the eclectic mix of people like Happy, Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers), Otto the homeless man (Allen Covert), Virginia Venit (Julie Bowen), Grandma (Frances Bay), Shooter, Mr. Larsen (Richard Kiel), Jeering Fan (Joe Flaherty), Potter (Kevin Nealon), and of course two notable cameos…
See, this film is instantly quotable because it took the basic premise of a sports film and twisted its execution in an off-kilter way with these characters. If I said right now, think of your favorite line from Happy Gilmore, I bet there would be at least a dozen different answers because there are that many classic lines.
One thing that I always wondered about was the use of V. V. names for love interests in the majority of Adam Sandler’s films.
Veronica Vaughn = Bridgette Wilson in Billy Madison
Vicki Vallencourt = Fairuza Balk in The Waterboy
Valerie Veran = Patricia Arquette in Little Nicky
and Virginia Venit = Julie Bowen in Happy Gilmore
Okay, so only four, but four is enough to supersede coincidence.
What’s the franchise like?
There was never a sequel to this, but I suppose it may have been terrible. Who knows?
Where/ when did I first see it?
I first watched this the week in which it was released on VHS in 1997. I, of course, rented it at the Video Market.
How does it hold up?
This film holds up incredibly well. It’s thoroughly entertaining and plays out like a real film. Hey, how bout that?!
It’s also interesting how this film was essentially the first time I had ever noticed product placement in films. No wonder I eventually worked at Subway.
This is one of the toughest Joker distinctions yet. I could say it would be Happy, but between Bob, Ben Stiller, and Shooter McGavin, this is a tough one.
I’m going to go…
Cross-promotion at its finest: Adam Sandler on The Price is Right.
Then, the rematch.
- Eat Subway. Eat Fresh.
- That’s your home! Go home! Are you too good for your home?
- Discover how your skills can best work for you.
Where can you see it?
Check out Happy Gilmore on CanIStream.It?