Legend of Bagger Vance, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

Aging Hardy Greaves (Jack Lemmon), narrates this tale of his childhood hero, young local golfing legend, Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon). Rannulph leaves his high society sweetheart, Adele Invergordon (Charlize Theron), and his adoring fans in Savannah, Georgia for World War I. But Junuh returns from his heroic battle experiences a broken, disheveled recluse who disappears into drinking and card games. The Depression of the 30s brings Crew Island, a golf resort development, to the brink of bankruptcy and suicide to its developer, Adeles father. Determined to save the course from greedy local officials, Adele stages a winner-takes-all golf match with two famous golfers. Hardy, a young golf zealot (J. Michael Moncrief), begs the officials, Adele, and Rannulph to add Junuh to the roster. Saying he lost his swing, Junuh practices secretly by lantern light. A black golf caddie, named Bagger Vance (Will Smith), mysteriously appears out of the darkness with advice and humorous assurances to help Junuh regain his swing. But will it be good enough to save Adeles inheritance? Golfers will particularly relate to this movie, but it has enough humor, suspense and romance for those seeking an enjoyable, but predictable story.

To get him to play in the match, Adele offers a sexual encounter to Junuh by disrobing down to her slip. In an earlier, brief bedroom scene, sex is implied between Junuh and Adele, although no nudity is shown. Young Hardy Greaves idolizes golf pros, but disdains his father for working as a street sweeper and his refusal to renege on debts during the financial depression. Junuh helps Hardy reconcile with his dad, lecturing about his dad being a most honorable man. The two pro-golfers provide contrasting metaphors for the war swirling inside Junuh. One is portrayed as a carnal, self-promoting libertine, while the other is a good man wanting to end his golf career and return to law practice for the sake of his family. Bagger refers to Junuhs golf talent as God-given and encourages him through tough times. He occasionally uses reverse psychology to spur Junuh on, such as suggesting, somewhat comically in one match, that Junuh just quit and go home instead of suffering any more embarrassment. A few cases of strong profanity and obscenities occur, along with a number of mild and moderately crude words. Unfortunately, this uplifting film is spoiled by some offensive language and suggestive scenes.

Preview Reviewer: Ed Crumley
DreamWorks SKG, 100 Universal Plaza, Bldg. 477, Universal City, CA 91608

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (16) times - Mild 15, moderate 1

Obscene Language: Few (4) times - S-word 2, other 2

Profanity: Several (5) times - Regular 3 (J 1, GD 2); Exclamatory 2 (OG 1, Swear to G 1)

Violence: Suicide implied

Sex: Implied once (couple in bedroom)

Nudity: None; Near nudity (woman in underwear, cleavage emphasized once)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (woman partially disrobes for man, boys discuss womens underwear; golfer putts ball into womans cleavage)

Drugs: Few times social drinking, alcohol and drunken behavior (not condoned)

Other: Junuhs life demonstrates redemption, mysterious caddie seems guardian angel-like, man teaches boy about honor, war victims shown

Running Time: 127 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and up

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