Birdie and Bogey (2004)
Faith, Family and the Fairway
After her mother left Birdie O'Conner (Amanda Alch) was raised by her father Danny (Mike Norris), a former professional golfer turned golf teacher, who has taught Birdie to be a good golfer at just the age of 12. With Birdie believing her dad is still the best golfer he ends up deciding to take another shot at the pro-tour but with young Birdie as his caddy which certainly makes the golfing establishment talk. And they talk even more when Danny starts winning and playing some of the best golf of his life all down to his closeness to his daughter. But when Birdie becomes seriously ill Danny must find a way of carrying on alone and keep a promise to his daughter.
Considering how Christian cinema and faith based films use to be they have taken a gigantic leap forwards, but at the same time they are still short of the mark when compared to main stream cinema. That brings me to the faith based film "Birdie and Bogey" which was directed by Mike Norris, son of Chuck Norris, and whilst it has its heart in the right place is one of those movies which comes up short in many areas from the acting to the technical elements. But it is also a movie which despite to me tries to appeal to a mainstream audience probably works best for an already Christian audience looking for some clean entertainment with a good faith based message to watch with their family.
Now for a big chunk of "Birdie and Bogey" what we get is father, daughter relationship as we see how close Birdie and Danny are. For a while this is okay but it does get repetitive especially if you are not a huge fan of golf as all we get is golf, talk of golf alongside father daughter relationship over and over again until the drama strikes with Birdie falling ill and Danny having to find the faith to carry on as he questions why his daughter has to fall ill. I won't go in to detail as to how this plays out as one thing about faith based movies is that whilst you can normally expect an uplifting ending you can't be sure for certain what sort of heartache will show up along the way to highlight the trials and tribulations you face in life.
Now I mentioned that Christian cinema and faith based films has improved greatly over the years but often end up still being inferior to mainstream. As such "Birdie and Bogey" does have its fair share of issues from a lack of atmosphere to image quality. But unfortunately the worst things about "Birdie and Bogey" is that the acting frequently comes across as forced and unnatural with over the top gesticulation and face pulling alongside some obvious self awareness which requires you to be quite sympathetic to let it fly.
What this all boils down to is that "Birdie and Bogey" is in some ways what many expect from Christian cinema and faith based films with various issues. But it has its heart in the right place and that goes a long way to making up for some of the issues.
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