Adam Sandler's Best Movie: Happy Gilmore

By Kelly West 2011-02-11 17:29:48discussion comments
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[ed. note: With Adam Sandler's new film Just Go With It hitting theaters this week, we've been locked in a debate over Sandler's best. After some shouting and even a passionate defenses of 50 First Dates, we decided to take the discussion to you guys, with each of us picking a day to present our argument for Sandler's absolute best movie. Katey Rich argued for 1998's The Wedding Singer, Eric Eisenberg stuck up for 2002's Punch Drunk Love and Mack Rawden found the sad truth in 2009's Funny People. Today, to wrap things up, Kelly is getting to the bottom of her grudge against Bob Barker thanks to Happy Gilmore]

Caddyshack made golf funny; Happy Gilmore made it cool.

The year was 1996 and I was just months away from graduating high school when Happy Gilmore was released. As though Adam Sandler knew I had years of procrastination ahead of me with college just on the horizon, he co-wrote and starred in this gem of a film about an aspiring hockey player who takes his insane slapshot to the golf course in an effort to save his grandmother’s house from being seized by the IRS.

Take the above premise, throw in Ben Stiller, Ben Stiller’s ridiculous mustache, Carl Weathers, Bob Barker, not to mention Julie Bowen and an excellently villainous performance by Christopher McDonald, then add on an underrated soundtrack, which includes everything from Skynard’s “Tuesday’s Gone,” to House of Pain’s “Jump Around” and what’s not to love?

Beyond this tale of a common man taking the uppity game of golf by storm, there’s a love story and I’m not talking about Happy and Virginia. Sure, it’s great to see friends listen to “Endless Love” in the dark, but the true love story in Happy Gilmore is between Happy and his Grandma. Not only did Adam Sandler make golf cool, he made appreciating Grandma cool. Happy's refusal to give up on his mission to help his Grandma and repay her for all of the love and support she gave him over the years (including dressing like Gene Simmons from KISS to cheer him up after his father died), makes him a hero in my book.

Happy Gilmore wasn’t Sandler’s first starring role, but it was the first film I’d seen him in where he wasn’t acting like a goofball. Don’t get me wrong, Billy Madison and Airheads have their place but Happy Gilmore gave us the first glimpse of Sandler’s talent as an actor, and as a charming, believable romantic lead.

As a comedy, Happy Gilmore still holds up. The same can be said for some of Sandler’s other films, but I believe Happy Gilmore has many of the best and still-quotable lines of all of his films.

Shooter: I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast.
Happy: You eat pieces of shit for breakfast?”
Shooter: …No!

Which movie is Adam Sandler's Best?

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[Read all of our Adam Sandler's Best Movie arguments righthere.]
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