Tin Cup

Tin Cup

1996, R, 130 min. Directed by Ron Shelton. Starring Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Linda Hart.

REVIEWED By Hollis Chacona, Fri., Aug. 16, 1996

Fore! Loath as I am to use even one golf metaphor, etiquette does require that I warn you. You're about to get bonked on the head with a has-been story, mediocre acting, and some squirmingly painful dialogue. At least, that's what will happen if you go to see Tin Cup. And you certainly might be planning to give it a try, considering it's from the same team that brought you Bull Durham. Okay, they share Ron Shelton and Kevin Costner, but consider the differences: Bull Durham had baseball, America's favorite pastime and a myth unto itself. Tin Cup has golf, that game made for the moneyed and masochistic. Bull Durham had Susan Sarandon, who made you believe every transcendentally sexy word she uttered. Tin Cup has Rene Russo, who, belying a strong performance in Get Shorty, sputters helplessly through her (admittedly feeble) dialogue, her comic timing lost somewhere in the vast West Texas landscape. Bull Durham had a fabulous, witty script replete with fascinating, quirky characters. Tin Cup doesn't. What Tin Cup does have is a lot of sloppy filmmaking, including poor editing, incongruous lighting and seriously stupid costuming. (Russo dons country club cum call girl get-ups for her golf lessons and Costner's down-and-out golf hustler wears designer linen slacks while eating rainbow sprinkle donuts and drinking beer in the squalid Winnebago he calls home.) And last, but definitely not least, there are 723 golf metaphors. (You start counting after the first 15, just to have something to do.) Linda Hart's Doreen, the stripper with the heart of a Fortune-500 CEO and the terrific soundtrack, featuring the Texas Tornados and others, are the only things in this movie that actually move. It's not that the basic premise is bad. Hell, it worked in Bull Durham. Athletically gifted golfer, Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy is a head case who snatches defeat from the jaws of victory by going for broke when break-even would do. His college rival and lifelong nemesis, David Simms (Johnson) has made the professional tour, millions of dollars, and countless babes by playing the smart, safe shots. And now he's got the babe of Tin Cup's dreams and Cup's got to figure out how to win her heart. Which he does. Slowly. Stammeringly. Stupidly. If you've got money to waste and enjoy pain, go ahead and see this movie. Or just play a round of golf. Six of one…

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Ron Shelton Films
Just Getting Started
Grumpy old men on the golf course

Marc Savlov, Dec. 15, 2017

Hollywood Homicide
Good looks can forgive almost anything. Art has proven that point time and again (pretty, dimwitted Christian gets the girl, Cyrano a heavy blow to ...

Kimberley Jones, June 13, 2003

More by Hollis Chacona

July 14, 2000

Dill Scallion

Oct. 8, 1999


Tin Cup, Ron Shelton, Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Linda Hart

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle