This review is spoiler-free.
Twin Pines, a failing country club where maintaining a buzz is par for the course, hires a new Golf Pro to help them get back on track before their rivals at the snooty Magnolia Pointe puts them out of business for good.
Despite Twin Pines being a ‘Country Club’, there is nothing exclusive or gentile about it! This is a place for the workingman or the not-so workingman, as it turns out! I love that they flipped the Country Club trope on its head, plus, everyone loves an underdog story, so going up against that establishment and elitist nature of the country club setting just makes for a compelling story.
While not every joke landed, the humour is very snappy and consistent throughout the film, with more than a few genuine ‘laugh out loud’ moments thrown in for good measure. This isn’t quite ‘gross-out’ humour nor is it overly sexualised or sweary, but the writers have managed to sample a range of different comedy sub-genres and blended it together into a very funny movie. There is one scene that is bone-achingly funny, and they nail the execution perfectly, as it could have been very easy to linger too long, and the gag lose its effectiveness. So, in terms of the comedy elements, this movie has something for everyone!
Away from the comedy, there is the music. Birdies uses its music very well, transitioning from contemporary to classical, adding a great juxtaposition, especially when they are used to signify the differences between two main rival clubs. The film also is very creative with some of its original songs by having them, cleverly, performed by the cast as part of the storytelling process, and whilst Birdies is not a musical, it does have a few musical elements which really help to complement the comedy.
When it came to the performers, for me the three that really stick out are Ryan O’Flanagan (Jake), Zach Hanner (Charlie) and Lily Nicole (Fred), and if I had one criticism of the movie was that Lily Nicole’s presence in Birdies should have been greatly increased because I really enjoyed her character and Nicole’s performance. In the supporting roles, I also really enjoyed Nate Panning (Nick), Sydney Penny (Sarah) and Aerlia Austen (Brandy), who all brought a different flavour to their characters and made for a nice and complementary ensemble.
In terms of the cinematography, the location establishing shots really gives the film some scale and depth, and I thought the lighting and editing elements were also particularly strong. I also really enjoyed the camera movement throughout the film, as it helped the movie flow during the establishing and transitional shots. These little things just help create some nice technical layers that really have a positive impact on the film.
Birdies has that ‘slacker-underdog’ vibe that is very reminiscent of films like Clerks and Office Space, mixed with the chaotic shenanigans you’d expect in something like Trailer Park Boys. It’s a personal taste, but for me, it hit my comedy sweet spot and I was very happy with the film – I laughed, and I was entertained, what more can you ask for?
Finally, you don’t have to be a huge golf enthusiast to enjoy Birdies! I have no interest in golf, unless its miniature or crazy, but the comedy and characters take the lead in the movie so there are no barriers put up to stop you enjoying it.
Birdies is an underdog story with a difference, packed full of great comedy, performed by a talented ensemble cast! Taking from a range of different comedy sub-genres, this movie caters for a range of comedy tastes and executes its gags perfectly. The film amusingly explores the elitist and misogynistic elements associated with country clubs to great effect! Birdies is a hole in one!
Birdies is available to watch from 22nd February 2022. Check out more at https://www.BirdiesTheMovie.com