Tin Cup Sept 18, 2018 11:00:07 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Sept 18, 2018 11:00:07 GMT -5
Tin Cup (1996)
Directed by: Ron Shelton
Directed by: Ron Shelton
Cheech Marin and Kevin Costner in Tin Cup.
Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy is a gifted but underachieving golf prodigy, spending his time at a rag-tag driving range located in Salome, Texas. It's not all bad, however. Afforded the opportunity to drink on the job and BS with his buddies, he also, against insurmountable odds, meets an incredible woman on an average day. She's Dr. Molly Griswold (Rene Russo), an accomplished psychologist, who wants to take up golfing and requests the teachings of him. Tin Cup notices she's made several rookie mistakes in purchasing a lot of useless accouterments shilled by the likes of late-night infomercials promising said accessories will give you a golf-swing like the pros. That's when Tin Cup sees an "in," so to speak; a way to impart his knowledge and woo the woman he didn't know he was waiting for.
There is a problem, however: Molly's boyfriend is David Simms (Don Johnson), a professional golfer who Tin Cup has loathed since his glory days. Formerly a championship caliber golfer at the University of Houston, Tin Cup's life has fallen from grace thanks to his appetite for taking risky, impractical swings as opposed to more conservative moves when faced with challenging circumstances. He'll always be the one to make an unlikely situation impossible thanks to his hard-headed sensibilities — it's part of why he saw such great success and experienced such a large downfall. Now, he lives in a Winnebago and his closest friend is Romeo (Cheech Marin), who also serves as his caddie, not to mention one of the few people to have seen Tin Cup on top of the world and at the mercy of it.
Like his acclaimed film Bull Durham, which has gone on to be hailed as a sports classic, Ron Shelton treats Tin Cup sensitively and even-handedly. Shelton, who also co-wrote the film with John Norville, understands that the key to good sports drama is good human drama, and his titular prodigy and his love interest are textured beyond what you'd expect from a pro golfer/novice lover trying to tickle the fancy of a self-assured woman. A former baseball player himself, Shelton also understands that while the lucky shots and against-all-odds swings might not add to the realism of the film, they still manage to feel appropriately placed given how much thought is put into the core romance.
Costner is effective as Tin Cup. An actor who was on the downswing of his career at the time, Costner rebounds by essentially presenting the antithesis of his Crash Davis character from Bull Durham. Unlike Davis, the handsome, competent catcher who ultimately won the attention of the beautiful Annie Savoy. He's messy and unmotivated, crabby and undisciplined to the point where he tries the patience of his friend Romeo (played very well and not caricatured by Marin), the last thing he has before or after his golf-skills, depending on what you prioritize. Russo is a great talent as well; like Susan Sarandon's Annie, she refuses to fall prey to the conventions of love interests. Shelton writes her a fascinating and respectably human role and she embodies it by making Molly still resonate as stable and independent.
Don Johnson is also underrated in his role. He's exactly the kind of dynamic villain you like to see in sports movies. His Simms is not overtly menacing, but simply intolerably arrogant with a physique and golf-swing so finely chiseled it's the envy of every pro/amateur golfer. Tin Cup makes his hatred for Simms blunt even to Molly. "He hates women, children, and dogs," he tells her, in a moment of sheer desperation and exaggeration at which you can't help but laugh.
Ron Shelton's Tin Cup is romantic and engaging, even at a debatably long 135 minutes. Its soundtrack is filled with Alabama-esque country music and Tex-Mex that pleases as much as the characters on screen, and the core players in the cast clearly invest themselves in the material thanks to Shelton putting its authenticity at the forefront — both the screenplay's and his own.
Starring: Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Rex Linn, and Linda Hart. Directed by: Ron Shelton.