I try to be tolerant and respectful of others' opinions and work, especially those I oppose. Lord knows people have generously treated me in that manner.
But certain lines should not be crossed, and a man of principle can't let such crimes go unpunished. Which is why we need to berate the Writer’s Guild of America's snub of "Caddyshack."
The WGA posted a list of their 101 funniest screenplays this week and, despite being alleged masters of the pen, they apparently don't know what "funny" means. Because on this sham of a catalog, "Caddyshack" ranks 25th.
Without context, this might not generate a response. "Yeah, 'Caddyshack' is awesome," you think, "but I'm sure the 24 movies ahead of it are just as good, if not better." Which was my initial take when learning the golf classic's placement.
Yet, further examination reveals this is not the case. After reading the entire ranking, it's clear "Caddyshack" got the shaft.
I should have known we were in trouble from the start, as "Annie Hall" tops the list. For the unacquainted, "Annie Hall" is a movie with three laughs in its 90 minutes of run time. The only time you watch "Annie Hall" is in your freshman year of college when you take an artsy girl out on a date in order to broaden your horizons, but halfway through you realize "avant-garde cinema" is just a fancy way of saying "this movie is super boring." The relationship between Danny Noonan and Maggie O'Hooligan in "Caddyshack" -- by far the worst part of the movie -- is infinitely better than awfulness between Diane Keaton and Woody Allen.
But hey, we all make mistakes. Maybe the WGA's list will get better.
Spoiler Alert: It does not.
Next on the faux pas program is "Tootsie." I wasn't around in 1982, so perhaps a man dressing like a woman constituted comedy back then, but time has not been good to "Tootsie." "Oh, 'Tootsie' is on; this is the best!" said no one ever. If you surf across Bill Murray taking a whack at the flower garden, you're damn sure not changing the channel.
"Bridesmaids" is ahead of "Caddyshack." That film is known for a sole, disgusting purpose. If bowel banter floats your boat, the Baby Ruth pool scene tops "Bridesmaids" in creativity and delivery.
"Young Frankenstein" allegedly boasts the most hysterical villain in cinema history. But did any bad guy have the farcical presence of blowhard Judge Smails?
Also ahead of "Caddyshack": "A Fish Called Wanda." Do you know why you never see "A Fish Called Wanda" on television? Because its not funny. Which is a problem, given it's a comedy.
"When Harry Met Sally" and "The Princess Bride" are romantic movies quoted by 82 percent of all girls on dating websites. "Bringing Up Baby" was sooo funny that it flopped. "This is Spinal Tap" has its moments, but its not as good as its reputation boasts. "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" is your history teacher's favorite movie. All, somehow, are ranked above "Caddyshack."
By no means is "Caddyshack" perfect. Although the first 10 minutes of the film center on caddie life, the narrative mostly veers away from this storyline, which is a tad problematic given, you know, the movie's called "Caddyshack." Danny isn't that likeable, Lacey Underall and Maggie are unbearable and there's not enough Chevy Chase.
But it's a movie that Entertainment Weekly dubbed the most quoted film of all time. It took the stuck-up aura of golf and turned it upside down. It gave us Carl Spackler and launched Rodney Dangerfield's career. It made gophers likeable, dammit.
I get that people have different comedic palates; conversely, certain pieces of art transcend boundaries.
That "Caddyshack" was behind some of these stiff screenplays is a tragedy worse than the destruction caused to Bushwood Country Club.
At least the WGA didn't put "Happy Gilmore" on the list, officially ending the "Gilmore vs. Caddyshack" debate. So the movie has that going for it, which is nice.