Is it really true? Is Kevin Costner really only watchable in Sports Comedies?

Waterworld. The Postman. The Bodyguard. A Perfect World. I dare you to think of these complete disasters and not shudder. Then think of Bull Durham and Field of Dreams. Doesn't a wonderful warm orangey red glow encompass you? Thus is the difference between Costner's sports movies and his cinematographical failures.

What about Tin Cup? It's not a baseball movie, but hey, golf is being played with bats too, so there might be some redemption.

Without trying to be too subjective, Tin Cup works well and his quite amusing, even roaringly funny at times. Directed and written by Ron Shelton (who also did Bull Durham) it's the story of Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy (Kevin Costner) (so called because of a strategic placed protective device during his softball years), the owner and pro of a crabby old driving range somewhere in West Texas. His last major achievements were during his college years, but since then he's just been slacking in his Winnebago with his friend and caddy Romeo (Cheech Marin), drinking too much beer and eating too many corn dogs. One day a beautiful psychologist (Rene Russo) steps into his life, challenging him to look at his godawful career and trying to achieve something (etouffee points out that she is a far more believeable shrink than Nicole Kidman). Of course he falls in love with her, but unfortunately she's the girlfriend of his old nemesis and ultimate slimeball, David Simms (Don Johnson perfectly cast and sending up his image as ultrasmooth babemagnet). What follows is an hour of the classic American david vs. goliath tale while McAvoy claws himself into the US Open, but infused with so much off-beat southern humour and horrendous character flaws of Costner's protagonist, that it's wonderful to watch.

Interestingly, the message of the movie is not the classic "you can get what you want if you really want it" but "sometimes you have to let go, do what you want and have some fun". Not as hilarious as Major League but a tad brainier, this is American sports - cinema at it's best: uplifting, warm and utterly human.

Even without finding golf the least attractive, this movie can still work for you.

Now where did I stash my golf clubs?

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