Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

This film had the NERVE to have one of the golfers tell another golfer ‘Be the Ball’.  You do understand the ramifications of this don’t you?  This is a ‘comedy’ about golf.  A genre that ‘Caddyshack’ pretty much nailed freaking shut damn near thirty years ago.  ‘Happy Gilmore’ pried open a couple of those nails a few years ago, and though ‘Happy Gilmore’ didn’t suck, it was no ‘Caddyshack’.  ‘The Foursome’ however is a film so devoid of laughs that it is the opposite of funny.  I don’t even know what the word is for the opposite of funny.  Not funny?  Well that’s going to have to work.  Then it has to go and reference ‘Caddyshack’ which only exacerbates its lack of funny. 

Our film centers on the twenty year college reunion of four buddies from the unnamed State U.  Rick Foster (Kevin Dillon) is the somewhat aimless stud still living on the laurels of the past glory years, Paul Jarett (Ted Renton) is the successful business man with the hair plugs and the twenty three year old trophy wife, Cameron Towers (John Shaw) is the henpecked everyman who married the class whore and Chris Gauthier (Donnie Spencer) is the fat goof who is the noble family man of the bunch.  During the reunion they reminisce about things that may have been funny twenty years ago, but certainly aren’t funny now, and get ready for the big golf foursome the next day. 

Now that we’re on the course here’s where the funny stuff really starts to kick in, theoretically.  Rick is the super golf stud hustler and he agrees to accept golf neophyte Chris as his partner in a fifty dollar per hole, 500 dollar for the game against Paul and Cameron who foolishly think this a good deal.  Why is it stupid?  Because anybody who has ever played ‘best ball’ golf knows that one really good golfers best ball, no matter how many bad ball hitters you saddle him with, will invariably be better than a thousand below average golfers best balls that he’s playing against.  We call this a

‘sucker bet’ where I come from.  So the bad golfer hits a tree, wears funny clothes and other stuff that ain’t funny happens and at the end of the round, after they’ve been severely hustled, Paul and Cameron challenge Rick and Chris to another round the next day.  By this time I’m hoping like hell they were joking and that they aren’t really going to play another round, but the joke was on me.  The trudge out for another eighteen, more funny stuff doesn’t happen, there’s wackiness, revelations, and reconciliations until it all mercifully comes to an end a thankfully brief 80 minutes later.

I will admit to being a little harsh on ‘The Foursome’ because other than the fact that it was a comedy that wasn’t funny, there was nothing really wrong with it.  Other than the fact it wasn’t funny.  I mean it was professionally done, the actors didn’t suck that bad, Sixty three year old director William Dear has been making movies since almost before I was born so he knows how to shoot and frame a scene, but damn… it wasn’t funny.  Not even a little bit.  After about a half hour in I started looking at my DVD timer and I’m becoming concerned about when the first laugh is going to come.  I mean I’m notoriously easy to make laugh.  Somebody hit a golf ball into somebody’s scrotum or something.  I’ll laugh at that.  Anything.  All I need is four good laughs and I’ll recommend a movie, no matter stupid is, as long it can make me laugh four times.  Not smile four times, not chuckle four times, though ‘The Foursome’ couldn’t even manage that, but laugh four times.   Around the sixty six minute mark that first laugh finally came.  Sadly, it was scene that was about serious introspection and not meant to be funny but by now me and this movie are fairly desperate for some humor so we took it.  And that was it.

Critically speaking I suppose we can say that the characters were unlikable, the story was uninvolving, the timing for the failed jokes were off which of course is death for a comedy, and the plotting was banal.  But doggone, ‘The Naked Gun’ is STILL funny and that’s even saddled with the knowledge that O.J. Simpson killed two people.  Allegedly.

I suppose as bad as ‘The Foursome’ is, its biggest crime was to even think of channeling the ghost of ‘Caddyshack’.  This is not an easy thing to say, and somebody may want to challenge me on this but ‘The Foursome’ is actually worse than ‘Caddyshack II’.  There, I said it.

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