It isn’t mandatory for a stupid comedy to feel like a stay on death row. There’s a rich cinematic history of playing dumb that proves a little effort and a sharp cast is all it takes to make brainless feel like heaven. Effort and casting are two of many things “Who’s Your Caddy?” is lacking. Laughs are also in noticeably short supply, along with some needed cultural self-respect.C-Note (Antwan “Big Boi” Patton) is a successful rapper who wants to buy his way into the Carolina Pines Golf & Polo Club, run by the stuffy Mr. Cummings (Jeffrey Jones in a career-ending performance). Cummings and his black-fearing kind want nothing to do with the hip-hop mogul, finding insidious ways to revoke his membership, leaving C-Note and his dim-witted entourage to play by their own set of rules to protect his family’s honor and overturn a century of exclusionary tradition.
“Caddy” is a malnourished endeavor tying together a raucous urban comedy with an update of sorts of the classic links feature, “Caddyshack.” Back then, it was a slobs vs. the snobs. “Caddy” is more obsessed with nasty bits of racial humor than anything on the golf course, offering a smorgasbord of jokes that center on how C-Note and his posse crash the Caucasian country club and hip up the joint with their wild, uncultured ways. You’ve seen it before in a thousand other films, and “Caddy” offers zip in the area of slapstick innovation to help swallow this hackneyed premise. Seriously, wake me when urban films stop using “get back at whitey” as a comedic device. That day should be classified as a national holiday.
I wouldn’t categorize what Don Michael Paul (“Half Past Dead”) is doing with “Caddy” as direction. The filmmaker is simply turning on the camera and observing while members of the cast each take their turn cracking jokes or speeding off on comedy tangents that have little to do with the plot at hand. Admittedly (with great shame), I found the antics of Faison Love, here as C-Note’s most rotund and vocal crew member, entertaining in a zany, does-he-know-the-camera-is-on sort of way. Love is indicative of the lack of cohesion that plagues the film. Paul has no control over his actors and the result is a roughly edited compilation of punchlines and hip-hop hooey that lost appeal years ago.While I can see the romantic allure of toplining his own film, surely there are better ways for Patton to occupy his time. To go from Outkast and accomplished supporting work in “ATL” and “Idlewild” to this disposable movie is a stunningly unfortunate career move. Patton is comfortable in front of the camera and, in the middle of pimped-out golf carts, cigar-chomping white men, and 17th hole rap video shoots, he’s one of the few bright spots in this lackluster, triple bogey excuse for a comedy.