Tuesday, April 1, 2008


"Caddyshack" (Harold Ramis, 1980) One has few regrets in life, hopefully. As one gets older, experience colors perception, and suddenly movies like "The Rules of the Game" speak to you in new ways, and movies like "Caddyshack"...well, I've been spending a remorseful few minutes thinking of all the people I'd recommended this movie, too. Not that "Caddyshack" is horrible, mind you. But it hasn't aged well since my college days.* Fond memories of Harold Ramis' "Animal House for Juvenile Adults" is full of references and gags that seem geezer-ish. But there are some things that hold up. It's Chevy Chase's funniest perfromance in the movies (I believe that is the very definition of "Damning with Faint Praise"), and one of Bill Murray's wildest--you get the impression that they were winging it, Chase improvising the physical with Murray skewering the dialog. It showed Rodney Dangerfield to be a wierdly endearing clumsy performer for the movies, and it's Ted Knight at his foolish best. Two bits still work--the "Baby Ruth" gag, and the little mini-epic contained in it of the minister's perfect game in the rain. But, don't be surprised if the one thing you take away from it is John Dykstra's roly-poly gopher puppet. Here's an interesting "Caddyshack" link.

* It reminds of the recent reactions to the release of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." series on DVD, where the adults who watched it as kids ask facetiously why it was re-filmed using a "crap filter," that made all the sets look like cheesy back-lots, the performances hammy, and the thrills, not so much. Memories are yet green. The reality is oft-times compost.

No comments: