Director: Troy Carlton
Writer: Troy Carlton
Starring: Zach Hanner, Ryan O’Flanagan, Nate Panning, Sydney Penny, Jamie Lane, Richard Wenz
Birdies is an infectious feel-good golf movie that lands comfortably on the green. Ryan O’Flanagan stars as Jake Baxter, the new pro for Twin Pines. The club, run by Charlie Conroy (Zach Hanner), is struggling for money and needs to win the next tournament. The arrival of Jake brings brings everyone together as the tournament approaches.
While Birdies is what you’d expect from this kind of film, what makes it special is the amount of heart that’s behind it. You can feel that everyone is giving it their all and the passion really shines through. It feels like a very personal film, and while the stakes are high, it’s not a world championship and the whole world isn’t watching, it feels more focused and that makes it so much more engaging than the formulaic underdog films we expect. It’s also genuinely funny, with a lot of laugh our loud moments.
There are a lot of characters, with each and every one of them feeling distinct and different. You completely understand who they all are and the way they play off each other is great. There’s a lot of strange and bizarre moments that only work because the cast and characters are so great. Jake and Nick (Nate Panning) are excellent on screen, as are everyone else. It’s the type of film that you’ll pick up on more and more little moments every time you watch it.
Some of the funniest moments come from when Jake is talking to his girlfriend, Brandy (Aerli Austen), who has forbidden Jake from ever playing golf after an incident in college. Their arguments when Sarah finds out are hilarious. Jake telling his new colleagues that sometimes in a seven-year relationship you have to sleep in the rain is one of the highlights of the film, which O’Flannagan delivers perfectly.
There are a couple of jokes and moments that don’t feel natural and don’t quite land, but there’s so much more to love about Birdies. It’s the perfect film to watch to put a smile on your face and forget about the real world. It’s simply great.
Birdies will be available online & on VOD on the 22nd February 2022
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