Why Tin Cup Is Among Kevin Costner’s Best Movies

Roy McAvoy, the driving-range professional on the heart of author/director Ron Shelton’s 1996 golf comedy, Tin Cup, is form of a bum. He’s matted. He’s lazy. He’s approaching center age however lives in a busted-up Winnebago. He’s not terribly shiny. He’s technically the hero of the movie, though it’d be powerful to label him as heroic. He’s a slob. However right here’s the factor about Roy — he’s performed by Kevin Costner, previous his profession apex at that time however nonetheless close to his movie-star prime. In Costner’s palms, none of that different stuff issues. He makes Roy one in all cinema’s most likable slackers, somebody who might share a beer or some ill-conceived knowledge with Jeff Bridges’ The Dude or Matthew McConaughey’s Wooderson and really feel completely in sympatico.

And but Roy McAvoy shouldn’t be held in such excessive regard as these others. That’s what occurs when your little golf film fails to stay within the public consciousness the best way The Massive Lebowski or Dazed and Confused and even Shelton and Costner’s personal Bull Durham have. However as Tin Cup turns 25 years outdated this month, I’d argue it’s time to offer McAvoy his due as a world-class slacker of filmdom whereas on the similar time present remorse over the truth that it now looks like a little bit of an outlier in Costner’s total profession. Positive, he first made himself identified taking part in charmingly mischievous characters in movies like Fandango and Silverado, however that a part of his big-screen presence shortly light into the background as he took on the stoic, soft-spoken, extra blatantly heroic roles that made him one of many greatest film stars on the planet. The Untouchables. Dances with Wolves. The Bodyguard. It grew to become apparent that, as an actor, Costner was drawn to movies the place he might play variations of the quiet-but-soulful cowboy archetype from the western style that he so clearly beloved (and sometimes contributed to straight in movies like Wyatt Earp and Open Vary).

Are you aware what two films bookend Tin Cup on the Costner filmography? Waterworld and The Postman. Look, I like each of these films (sue me), however taking them on over the span of simply two years not solely made for good Hollywood gossip (as they each had been thought-about big misfires) but additionally cemented a sure picture of Costner the film star in lots of people’s minds. He’s tremendous severe. He’s ruggedly good-looking and can get the woman. However he’s not precisely a barrel of enjoyable.


Picture by way of Warner Bros.

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Roy McAvoy, nonetheless, is enjoyable. Roy McAvoy is numerous enjoyable. So is his finest good friend, caddie, and Winnebago roommate Romeo, who’s performed by Cheech Marin in one in all his most underrated roles. Technically, Tin Cup qualifies as a romantic comedy, as a part of the story includes Roy desperately making an attempt to win the guts of a phenomenal however flaky psychiatrist (Rene Russo) who’s courting one in all Roy’s much-more-successful golf rivals (Don Johnson). However the relationship that issues shouldn’t be between Roy and the woman; it’s between Roy and Romeo. They’ve one of the best chemistry within the film. Possibly Shelton wrote it into the script from the beginning or possibly he figured it out on the set, however a method or one other everybody appears to have agreed to lean into it. Certainly one of Tin Cup’s funniest scenes has Roy making an attempt to woo Romeo again after the latter has walked off the job (to get replaced by their different pal Earl) after one in all Roy’s patented mid-round blowups. “Once I was with Earl I used to be considering of you!” Roy shouts. “Am I particular?” Romeo asks, fishing for compliments.

Positive, it’s platonic, however these guys love one another. They usually’ve acquired a small crew of layabouts who fill out their little gang of slackers and ne’er do wells. Tin Cup is a good haunt film, because it’s not laborious to seek out your self wishing you can spend per week or two at Roy’s driving vary simply consuming beer, watching armadillos cross the highway, and betting on which insect would be the subsequent to get blasted off the bug zapper. It might not be a profitable, well-rounded existence, nevertheless it does look like a peaceable one. And the film makes no giant argument towards it. Although Roy does try and face down his interior demons and finally competes within the prestigious U.S. Open, one of many greatest golf tournaments on the planet, he actually doesn’t be taught a lot over the course of the movie and, in the long run, finds himself just about precisely the place he was initially. (Besides now he’s acquired the woman and presumably some brighter profession choices, ought to he select to take them.)

After all, Costner has busted out the attraction in different roles, possibly most notably in Bull Durham. However even in that movie, he’s dwelling by a fairly strict algorithm. Tin Cup has Costner taking part in the loosest character of his profession. “I acquired to bob and weave across the information of life, if you already know what I imply,” he says at one level. Roy McAvoy — “Tin Cup” to his associates — is a large number of human being. And but Costner, who first reveals up on display sporting a grimy white tank-top, beer bottle in hand, has maybe by no means been extra likable. All through your entire movie there’s a twinkle in his eye and a sly grin on his face that makes it simple to grasp how this man grew to become a famous person for an excellent decade or so. Trying again, it’s possibly just a bit little bit of disgrace that he didn’t put these items to make use of in additional components like this earlier than he aged out of his matinee-idol interval.

For many who simply love “underdog” sports activities films, there’s a brilliantly assembled sequence on the climax the place Roy, on the ultimate gap of a U.S. Open he has an opportunity to win, lets all his private foibles get one of the best of him. He loses the championship however nonetheless manages to seek out his piece of golf immortality. It’s very cleverly conceived by Shelton and completely edited for max pressure and emotional influence. However in the end it is Costner who makes all of it work. Make no mistake, it’s an entire efficiency. Catch the little little bit of ache and remorse in his eyes early on when, whereas describing the quick follow-through of his golf swing, he admits that he by no means finishes something in his life. However, for probably the most half, he’s busy giddily exhibiting off his slacker facet, which actually might have been Costner’s finest facet all alongside.

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