By Merle Bertrand | September 19, 2000

Minnesota, having pretty much wrung all the fame and notoriety it can get out of Governor Jesse Ventura, must be looking for new sources of state pride. After all, Garrison Keillor’s a funny guy, but he’s not exactly cutting edge. And there were probably a few too many cutting edges for most Minnesotans in “Fargo,” the state’s most recent foray into the public consciousness. So if it takes a locally produced indie film like Tim Vandesteeg’s “Mulligan” to get the rest of the country talking about the Land of 10,000 Lakes again, these folks’ll probably take it. Even if it is a movie about, er, golf. Oh, geez. Not exactly the first sport to spring to mind in this land of hockey heaven.
As viewers learn in this rather skimpy collection of news clips from assorted Minneapolis affiliates, Vandesteeg variously describes “Mulligan” as a sort of indie cross between “Caddyshack,” “Swingers,” “Clerks,” and/or “Diner,” depending on who’s doing the scoring. Whew. Ya sure you don’t wanta throw in a little “Reservoir Dogs” or “Blair Witch” action there, Tim? Cover all the bases?
In any event, this at least looks like a real movie, judging from the on-set footage shown here, and not just some digi-camcorder crap. So that’s a plus. Yet, none of that was nearly as interesting to learn as the fact that this was supposedly the first independent film to be sponsored by Subway restaurants. Wonder who did the catering…
Still, I’m all for any filmmaking that lessens Hollywood’s grip on the industry…and Minnesota is about as far away from Hollywood as you can get. So, send us the film, Mr. Vandesteeg. Let us see if “Mulligan” scores a Birdie.

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