Tin Cup - * * * 1/2*

Very engaging golf-themed romantic-comedy. Kevin Costner is Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, a golf pro at a small West Texas driving range, never having hit the big time. His life changes when he meets Dr. Molly Griswold (Rene Russo), a therapist who wants to learn golf because her boyfriend is on the PGA tour. Unfortunately for Roy, that boyfriend turns out to be none other than David Simms (Don Johnson), Roy’s old nemesis, enemy to children, old people and dogs. This competition for the love of Molly leads Roy on a quest to win the US Open. However, he still hasn’t conquered his largest problem with golf: he never plays the percentages, instead always opting for the “big” shot. Thus, he tends to win or lose spectacularly. To help him out, he enlists his good buddy Romeo (Cheech Marin) to be his caddy and advisor, and seeks help from Dr. Griswold for “the mental game”. Tin Cup is a well written film from writer-director Ron Shelton. Kevin Costner eases well into his role as the relaxed golf pro who might well just play a round using garden tools rather than golf clubs. It is frustrating at times watching the stubborn McAvoy…but on reflection, that is a credit to the writing. It makes you care enough about the characters that you are frustrated by their flaws. McAvoy isn’t the only colorful character in this work…Romeo, Griswold, and Roy’s buddies get fair time onscreen. Cheech Marin in particular does a fine turn, stealing many of the scenes he’s in. Rene Russo is appealing as the strong-willed doctor who can’t understand why the men in her life are addicted to such a silly game. Ron Shelton’s screenplay keeps us off balance and on our toes for the entire running time, making golf seem interesting even for those who despise the sport.

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