The Country Club (2023) Movie Review: There’s a certain voyeuristic pleasure in watching rich people spend their coffers on a summer vacation enjoying exotic locations and doing the kind of things that a middle-class audience will find outright hilarious. In the past few years, with filmmakers exploring the ‘Eat the Rich’ theme, more and more movies have packed their audience in yachts with a bunch of nasty rich people to enjoy a hearty satire on capitalism and consumerism. I believe The Country Club (2023), directed by Fiona Robert, had the same noble intention. Unfortunately, it fails in execution by a huge margin.

The movie follows a mini golf tournament invitation being sent out to elite socialites by the prestigious Hamptons country club. A certain Miss Elsa Cartwright of Connecticut (played by Alexis G. Zall) has been sent an invitation for the same, which finds itself in the hands of Tina Cartwright (not belonging to the same Cartwright family), who then hands it over to her sister and namesake of Elsa Cartwright (played by Sophia Robert).

The two sisters are working a menial summer job at a golf store when they come across this envelope and realize that the cash prize of this tournament is 15k dollars. Elsa, who has always wanted to attend college, is coerced by Tina to fake her identity and participate in the tournament. You are mistaken if you think this is a Shakespearean comedy waiting to unfold.

At the club, we meet the other contenders who have come to participate in the tournaments, including seasoned champions and charming young golfers with assistants. There is also the aged Granny Lynn (played by Margaret Ladd), one of the oldest regulars who now resides at the club. Tina and Elsa soon find themselves swept up by the drama that another contender, Roger Kowalski (played by John Higgins), puts forward while trying their best to keep from revealing their real identities. How will the party at the club react when they come to know Elsa’s real identity? Robert has crafted a movie that is full of summer colors, cute sportswear-adorned characters, and unfunny dialogues.

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The Country Club Movie
The Country Club Movie

I am not a fan of physical comedy or the comedy arising from an exchange of expletives between two people. If you like these comedies, you will appreciate The Country Club (2023) because a lot of its runtime rests solely on the aforementioned types of humor, particularly Kowalski’s actions. The latter felt like a forceful attempt on the part of the filmmaker to make their audience laugh, especially because it was complemented with dialogues (written by Fiona Robert and Sophia Robert) that did not fit the bill. On more than one occasion, Kowalski’s actions generated much chaos that could be related to the general confusion on the characters’ faces.

Because of the elaborate opening credit scene, one is likely to think that the movie will revolve around the golf game at the club. Unfortunately, the screenplay scatters instances of characters playing a casual game loosely until the climax suddenly finds each of the contenders serious at their game. Similarly, several such plot threads are introduced in the movie that somehow finds themselves balled up during the climax but take the backseat during the rest of the film. For example, Tina’s desire to build a brand of aesthetic sportswear to replace the cute tennis costumes that the characters flaunt. I think Robert’s screenplay is too densely packed with several overriding plots to give you any respite from the ceaseless attempt at arousing laughter.

All the actors are equally mediocre in their performances, so sitting through this comedy of errors for 90 long minutes starts feeling like an arduous task by the end. The coming-of-age of the protagonist also gets lost in the drama around Kowalski. The film also puts forward some token racial and LGBTQIA+ portrayals without integrating them seamlessly into the plot. I believe Fiona wanted to hold up the quirks and eccentricities of the rich kids at a country club. It is a good attempt but could surely be better executed. The Country Club (2023) is not the summer comedy that I’d advise you to indulge in unless you wish to spend 90 extra minutes recovering from the humor it delivers.

Also, Read: One More Time (2023) Ending, Explained

The Country Club (2023) External Link: Rotten Tomatoes
Genre:
 Comedy, Drama
Original Language: English
Director: Fiona Robert
Writer: Fiona Robert, Sophia Robert
Release Date (Streaming): Runtime: Distributor: Good Deed Entertainment
Production Co: Robert Sisters Pictures

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