A movie that re-defines success

I rarely review movies. Still, when one comes along like The Phantom of the Open, I can’t stay quiet.

Is it a love story? Is it a sports story? Is it a comedy or is it a drama? Is it a story about the real meaning of success?

The true story of Maurice Flitcroft, who having never played a round of golf in his life, entered the 1976 British Open and shot the worst round in Open history.


Loved-One picked it because the trailer looked fun and it got an 91% on Rotten Tomato. We never heard of it, but it was Tuesday afternoon – discount day at the local movie theatre – our somewhat predicatable date.

Every character in The Phantom of the Open is loveable in their own quirky way.

I’m still thinking about Maurice Flitcroft, his friends, his disco-dancing sons, and of course his wife, Jean. We immediately recognized Sally Hawkins from The Shape of Water. She sure knows how to express love without saying a word.

My favorite scene is when the office girl questions Maurice’s entry form. The form asks for his handicap. Jean wrote in, “a touch of arthritis,” then crossed it off. Instead, she checked the box for “Professional,” because professionals didn’t need to reveal their handicap.

Loved-One keeps laughing at Maurice’s French disguise. And the questionable background of his shipyard friend.

We all need feel-good stories these days. Don’t we. I’m especially tickled because a city in my home state has a tournament in Maurice’s honor,  the “Maurice Gerald Flitcroft Member-Guest Tournament”.

Thank goodness someone decided to make this almost obscure story into a movie. The writer and director sum it up nicely: It’s not about achieving your dream. It’s about following your dream.

Hey dreamer! Practice is the road to perfection.

I’m wondering, have you heard about The Phantom of the Open? After the movie ended, another couple told Love-One and me that they heard about it through a golfing newsletter they receive.