The doomed hedonism of Caddyshack
Going back and watching the films of my youth has led me to some interesting places. For example, I came to realize that The Crow is a profoundly Catholic movie.
I'm also seeing comedies in different ways. Today's discussion is about Caddyshack, which I was too young to watch in the theater and only got the full sense of it as a teenager when it was on VHS.
On the surface, it's a movie vehicle for Chevy Chase (an up-and-coming star from Saturday Night Live) and veteran Rodney Dangerfield. Add in Ted Knight as a foil and Bill Murray as the weirdo groundskeeper, and the movie was guaranteed to be a laugh riot.
It is still quite funny (in part because of its rudeness), but it is also very dated. The film highlights the tension between the old White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) establishment and everyone else, from new money to the working class.
If a remake was to be attempted, the caddies would be the villains, deplorable and hateful. The tale would be about how enlightened and woke people destroyed the rude, obnoxious yard workers, maybe replacing them with robots.
But I digress.
Caddyshack is an anti-establishment movie, but the problem was that the libertarianish dream it embodies of easy sex, casual drug use and thumbing one's nose at convention ultimately leads to greater tyranny. It's all nice and fun to pick middle class morality, but what replaces it is far more restrictive.
Of course, Caddyshack is also about exposing hypocrisy, and a proper remake would be an even more target-rich environment, starting with people who have "Climate Action Now" signs in the vast yards 5,000 square-foot homes.
The sexual adventurism of the aptly-named Lacy Underall has been replaced by sex police on university campuses. These not-so-grand inquisitors are supposedly there in the name of protecting the rights of women, but they trample upon every concept of rights in the process.
To put it another way, it seems unimaginable that we could get here from there.
And yet here we are.
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