Summer of Sports Films: Tin Cup

Tin Cup illustration by Jeff Schwartzbauer

Tin Cup – 1996

Dir: Ron Shelton | Starring: Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, Dennis Burkley

Sport: Golf

Review: Kevin Coster stars as “Roy McAvoy” a driving range Golf Pro / slacker in west Texas where he wastes away his days shooting the shit with his friends, giving occasional golf lessons, and hustling the locals out on the regional courses. He falls for a Psychiatrist (whom also happens to be his greatest golf rival’s girlfriend) and she leads him down the path of striving to win the U.S. Open, a golf event where anyone can enter as long as they meet a few simple skill requirements. He has to overcome “going for it” when “playing it safe” would be the easier and more successful path but would challenge his very inner being that has also been the greatest detriment in his golfing career.

There is a pretty hefty pile of Romantic Comedy Sports films a person can dig into if they wanted and I would say you can certainly do a lot worse than this one. Costner is playing the fairly standard “Sam Malone” character type while Rene Russo is the tough female lead who is stand-offish at first but finds Costner to be a nice project to work on but his lifestyle and behavior ultimately wins out. The sports side of it is simple enough, some Golf references will go over peoples heads but will appeal to those with a slightly more than basic understanding. One interesting aspect of the plot is that there really isn’t a “villain” per se despite them presenting Don Johnsons character as such, he’s more-so there for Costers character to deflect his own issues back at himself rather than he actually being devious or threatening. Beyond all of that its just a matter if you enjoy the West Texas atmosphere and the endearing supportive cast. Your milage may vary but I find it to be an enjoyable light breeze of a movie thats charm grows with repeated viewings.

Here’s a trailer that makes Costner’s character seem like an absolute lunatic and the music used is really terrible, guh, I really dislike this trailer:

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