Netflix movie of the day: Adam Sandler is an unlikely golf hero in the smash hit sports comedy Happy Gilmore

Adam Sandler shouting at a golf ball in Happy Gilmore
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

It's a good time to watch the original Happy Gilmore, the 1996 hit that sent Adam Sandler into the stratosphere, especially with a surprise sequel filming this year. It does for sports what Airplane! did for airlines, delivering a gag-packed sports comedy about a down on his luck hockey player who becomes a golf pro to save his grandma's house. For many fans, it's Sandler's best movie and you can watch it now on Netflix

Is Happy Gilmore funny?

That very much depends on your sense of humor, which many critics clearly didn't share with the movie. 

Entertainment Weekly called it a "one-joke Caddyshack" and Variety said it had "about three minutes of funny material" in total. But The New York Daily News was more generous: "The comedy is never more than sudden, outsized explosions of violence from the otherwise placid, childlike Happy. But director Dugan maximizes the laughs through careful timing and counterpoint." 

Time Out called it a "superior disposable comedy", while USA Today's Mike Clark wrote that "the story has all the thickness of a well-trimmed green, but it's a decent excuse for some heady sight gags". According to the Houston Chronicle's review: "Sandler plays this a lot smarter than, say, a Jim Carrey character, and with less slapstick. Still, this is not delicate, subtle stuff: It's smart low-brow, and only for those who like their humor a bit offbeat." 

Empire said that while it's far from perfect "there's a couple of truly side-splitting scenes. And there's a nice edge to the McEnroe-style histrionics because, at the end of the day, it's exactly what most spectators would really love to see on the fairway."

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.