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Laramie Movie Scope: Tin Cup

Tin Cup lands in the rough

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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Aug. 18 1996 -- Kevin Kostner's latest film, "Tin Cup" is a light, breezy affair that makes no pretense of being anything other than a summer movie, and that's probably just as well.

A sports film, it is about golf. But is no "Bull Durham" with golf balls instead of baseballs. It doesn't have Bull Durham's hard edge, sharp writing, well-defined minor characters and attention to detail. Instead, it has a soft edge, has sloppy acting, editing and direction. It's careless, but good-natured.

Kostner plays Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy, a washed up ex-college golfer who runs a driving range in a nowhere place called Salome, Texas. He falls for a local psychiatrist, Dr. Molly Griswold (Rene Russo) who just happens to be the girlfriend of a leading professional golfer, who just happens to be his old college rival (Don Johnson). All this just happens to happen out in Salome, Texas.

Anyway, Roy is inspired to shake off his doldrums and try to win the U.S. Open. Benefiting from a training table of whisky and hot dogs, he shoots a course record! I suppose its possible for a golfer who hasn't been practicing his short game to set records at the U.S. Open, but it's really stretching things. After all, "You drive for show and putt for dough," as one legendary real golfer put it.

Despite what this might sound like, this is not a typical sports film. There's a twist to it. If you think I've given away the ending of this film, you haven't seen it.

While Kostner and Russo have certainly turned in better performances before, Cheech Marin ("Born in East L.A."), who plays Romeo Posar, Kostner's buddy and caddy, gives a very fine performance in a fairly thankless role. Marin has yet to meet the role he can't master.

This is a marginally enjoyable film. It could have been a lot better with more effort. As it is, it rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1996 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)