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Awesome: 14.89%
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Sucks: 23.4%

2 reviews, 35 user ratings

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Tin Cup
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Charming golf movie."
4 stars

Some movie genres are lucky enough to have expert filmmakers working their side of the street. Gangster films have Martin Scorsese, for example, and sports movies have Ron Shelton.

Of course, Scorsese's films aren't just about gangsters, and Shelton's movies -- Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump, Cobb, and now Tin Cup -- are never just about the game. They're gentle comedies of masculine mythology (except for Cobb, which was far from gentle). Shelton's heroes are boys who never grew up.

The boy in Tin Cup is Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner), a legendary golfer -- legendary, that is, for his lack of discipline and wasted potential. Roy, who can't resist going for risky long drives, had the big time in his grasp and blew it; now he gives lessons at his run-down Texas range and takes good-natured abuse from his caddy Romeo (Cheech Marin, continuing his run of hilarious comeback performances). Roy is fairly content with his lot until two figures disrupt his stagnation, like a cartoon devil-angel duo sitting on his shoulders. The devil is David Simms (Don Johnson), a smug pro who made the bigs by "laying up" (going for safe shots) and who relishes the chance to offer Roy a job as his caddy. The angel is Dr. Molly Griswold (Rene Russo), a psychologist who comes to Roy for lessons and ends up learning a good deal more.

Shelton, who wrote the script with John Norville, sets up a parallel romance/competition: Molly, as it turns out, is dating Simms, and to win her heart, Roy decides he must beat Simms at the U.S. Open. But winning isn't all Shelton has in mind. He's more interested in what Jay McInerney called "the shabby nobility of failing" -- that is, failing on one's own terms rather than winning by playing it safe.

Working again with the director who guided his best performance (in Bull Durham), Kevin Costner proves what a lot of us have known about him all along. Put him in a mega-budget action flick as a Mel Gibson clone, and he looks groggy and irritable. Give him a fleshed-out character whose sense of humor is as strong as his code of ethics, and Costner relaxes and never puts a foot wrong. And we can feel the pleasure he takes in delivering Shelton's pitch-perfect dialogue.

At some point, Tin Cup divides our responses. When the inevitable final round approaches, with Roy facing off against Simms, we want the basic movie satisfaction of Roy trouncing his insufferable rival. Yet Molly (another witty turn by Russo), like all Shelton women, keeps things in perspective: It's only a game. Will Roy be false to himself in order to win? Molly's final advice during the game sets Roy straight. The movie, like Shelton's others, is an illustration of the old maxim: "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game." For Shelton, and for Roy, that wisdom extends past golf.

Athletes and fans love to position their sport as a metaphor for life (and vice versa). Shelton does something similar -- he uses sports as an excuse for life lessons. But the lessons go down with beautiful ease and charm. In its low-key, scruffy way, 'Tin Cup' is Hollywood's class act of the summer.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=617&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/27/07 14:27:26
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User Comments

10/08/07 Paul C. Loved it - Costner's best, Russo gorgeous - really sweet film! And I'm not even a golfer! 5 stars
2/21/07 STANLEY weingarden great flick 4 stars
12/12/06 Sepi53 Good entertainment! Costner is good as allways 4 stars
7/01/04 John solid and entertaining all the way through 4 stars
4/26/04 Dr. R This is is film that every golfer will appriciate 5 stars
3/23/03 Jack Sommersby Sometimes charming, mostly forced. Costner and Johnson, though, are marvelous. 3 stars
12/03/02 Jack Wolverton An ending every golfer will understand. 5 stars
9/22/02 snowconehead well, its the best Costner did in years, I'll give him that 3 stars
7/11/02 KMG IRONY: Don Johnson isn't acting...HE REALLY IS A FUCKING PRICK 3 stars
7/06/02 R.W. Welch Sub par. No wait, in golf that's good. Anyway it's .... 2 stars
6/10/02 Phil M. Aficionado Goes into the rough in spots, but comes back to score par. Decent ending saved it. 3 stars
5/14/02 Allison Larrerty HAZARD WARNING: Taking this seriously could take a major divot out of your brain! 1 stars
5/11/02 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Renee Russo must think she's too good to shit and fart out the same hole! 1 stars
3/16/02 FlaFan Costner should have been nominated for an Oscar for this movie. 5 stars
1/01/02 Andrew Carden I Know That It Wasn't Too Favorable, but I Love Golf. 4 stars
7/03/01 TLsmooth It somehow survives Costner and DJ. 4 stars
6/04/01 nowak Horrible script, weak acting. 1 stars
2/13/01 Jake All you have to know is that Ron Shelton directed this. He blows! 1 stars
12/03/00 Cristopher Revilla costner's latest hiccup on trying to come back, he pulled it off. Good movie too. 5 stars
12/01/00 Angela Murtagh I walked out of the movie...it was very boring! 1 stars
9/29/00 Terrie Smith A few good moments; Costner and Russo make the most of it. 3 stars
5/13/00 T.R. Morris Has a few good moments but drags a lot 3 stars
4/25/00 Steven McGarvey greatest movie ever made 5 stars
4/16/00 The Central Scrutinizer Kevin Cosner should get over himself...this movie sucks! 1 stars
1/19/00 Add Funny, feel good movie and you don't have to like golf to like this 5 stars
8/25/99 jeff heath kevin costner made a good comeback attempt wih warm hearted fil. 4 stars
10/27/98 Silent Rob Another attempt to mix sports into a chick flick. More Cheech! 3 stars
10/23/98 grunter seeped in Costner's usual boyish charm; still the only actor who plays a credible athelete 4 stars
10/18/98 Kwyjibo Even Happy Gilmore couldnt make golf interesting. How did they think this would? 1 stars
9/07/98 Johny booooooooooring 1 stars
9/06/98 BBReBozo Kevin Costner is America's Hitler. Did I see the movie? No. 1 stars
8/31/98 MikeF I liked it the first few times I saw it. it's always on HBO when nothing else is on. 4 stars
8/29/98 Mister Whoopee Someone was laughing when they gave this the green light. And is really sick in the head. 1 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball God awful. Golf is boring. Costner is boring. Golf+Costner = BOREDOM 1 stars
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  16-Aug-1996 (R)



Directed by
  Ron Shelton

Written by
  John Norville
  Ron Shelton

  Kevin Costner
  Rene Russo
  Don Johnson
  Cheech Marin
  Linda Hart
  Dennis Buckley

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