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By Alan Ng | October 6, 2022

The game of golf should be for everyone, not only reserved for the affluent and wealthy. Director Troy Carlton believes this whole-heartedly and sticks it to the country-club elite in his comedy, Birdies. The film, written by Carlton, David Longo, and Nate Panning, follows Charlie Conroy (Zach Hanner), the owner of the Twin Pines Country Club. The self-proclaimed golf course for normal people is no frills, and Charlie runs it like a frat with a bunch of lovable screw-ups to run the day-to-day operations.

But the club is in trouble. Word comes down that if Twin Pines doesn’t win the upcoming Dixie Classic Golf Tournament, they will be kicked off the circuit, and Charlie could lose the family business. To win, Charlie needs a ringer, which comes in the form of Jake Baxter (Ryan O’Flanagan), a former college golf prodigy who threw his life away with alcohol and partying. Because golf turned Jake into a drunk, he’s shunned the sport and chosen to live a legit life as an exterminator. As extra special motivation, if Jake ever returns to golf, his girlfriend Brandy (Aerli Austen) will never have sex with him again. Sealing the deal, Brandy just so happens to be the daughter of Jarvis (Richard Wenz), the owner of Twin Pines’ rival, Magnolia Pointe. He wants to put Twin Pines out of business, and Jake must not foil this plan.

“…if Jake ever returns to golf, his girlfriend Brandy will never have sex with him again.”

While the film surrounds the rivalry between these two country clubs, Birdies is essentially about a very large cast of golfing crazies, with Jake and Charlie’s stories serving as the narrative throughline. Jake is a guy whose party lifestyle turned him into a mere shell of a man. Now he must choose between golf or sex with Brandy. On the other hand, Charlie battles to save the club. Finally, the stress and pressure become so overwhelming that Charlie becomes allies with Magnolia Pointe’s pretty director, Sarah (Sydney Penny). Do I smell romance?

The film’s appeal comes from its sizable supporting cast, a mix of Meatballs and Caddyshack. The Twin Pines staff are a bunch of drunk frat boys and girls. In contrast, the members of the Magnolia Pointe crew are a bunch of entitled preppies soon to be dominated by Jake’s smooth swagger. Carlton’s film harkens back to the screwball comedies of the 1980s and 90s. The humor comes from the antics of its characters and how this seemingly inexperienced and unqualified group of ne’er do wells come together to save the day. Jake and Charlie ultimately become the adults in the room who must bring the “children” in line.

I wouldn’t call Birdies an intelligent comedy by any stretch of the imagination. But watching this will take you back to when you could still afford to live that slacker lifestyle. So, after a long day of work, I suggest plopping yourself on the couch, grabbing a dozen beers, unplugging your brain, and putting on this silly little comedy.

For screening information, visit the Birdies official website.

Birdies (2022)

Directed: Troy Carlton

Written: Troy Carlton, David Longo, Nate Panning

Starring: Ryan O'Flanagan, Zach Hanner, Sydney Penny, Aerli Austen, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

Birdies Image

"…after a long day of work, plop yourself on the couch, grab a dozen beers, unplug your brain, and put on this silly little comedy."

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