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Celtic Pride
Starring Dan Aykroyd, Daniel Stern, and Damon Wayans
Directed by Tom DeCerchio

OK, Ladies, for all of you who lugged your man friends to showings of Jack and Sarah -- which was not the most painful thing you could have done, but it's closest in my memory -- it is now payback time. You get lugged to Celtic Pride, a fairly painles s way to kill the time it would take to watch three bad sitcoms. For, with the exception of some language you won't see on the small screen, Celtic Pride could well have been based on a skit from Saturday Night Live in its heyday.

That means 20 years back when Dan Aykroyd was whipping out characters fast and furious. And here's Celtic Pride complete with Dan Aykroyd delivering a deliberately funny performance using a character type he must have done dozens of times. It worked then, it works now. You also get Daniel Stern doing the same red faced eyes bulging spit showering, shouting shtick that we know and love from the two Home Alone movies -- it worked then. It works now, except that here he's a good guy. Sort of. You get Damon Wayans doing the nasty comedic stuff which worked so well on In Living Color. All familiar types, all fine by me. Here's how it plays out.

Mike O'Hara (Stern) and Jimmy Flaherty (Aykroyd) are sports fans with a capital "F," in this particular case fans of the Boston Celtics basketball team. Set at the end of the 1995 season, the Boston Garden home to the team is about to close. Appropriately enough, the team is playing for the NBA championship. They go into game six with a 3-2 series lead, and blow it big time. Led by Lewis Scott (Wayans), the Utah Jazz team wipes green butt off the Garden floor. Then Scott goes to party.

In the nightclub where said party occurs, Mike and Jimmy pretend to be Jazz fans and befriend Scott. They figure if they get him so drunk, his hangover will affect his play. Next morning, they find Scott, tied with duct tape, lying in a bed next to Mike, in Jimmy's apartment.

Sorry, I forgot to mention that Mike's wife booted him out, again, for paying more attention to the team than to her. It's happened before, and this time she's serious. She still has the divorce papers from the last time ready to go . . . Won't take him back . . . Right.

OK, so you've got one kidnapped sports star, two ultra-rabid sports fans, and their best friend, the cop. Uh oh. I smell conflict here. Right out of one of those how- to-write a screenplay books. That's all right, this ain't art. It's simple entertainment and that's all it is. The fun comes from watching Aykroyd sputter, and Stern turn red, and Wayans cut them both down verbally. It's all stuff you've seen before, right down to the deluge of buddy-buddy implied gay jokes. Just like most of the shows on TV's Fox or Warner Brothers networks.

There's a great double parody of the infamous Dennis "I am not a role model" Rodman Nike spot (sic). There are fun visual hits on various superstitions inherent in all sports fans, which I won't go into 'cuz I'm not about to spoil the jokes. It was all over in a painless 90 minutes and, as I've said, laughter is always better in large groups.

How did the audience I sat with react? Some of the women hissed. Some of the men wouldn't shut their traps -- just like at a real game. Just like watching TV.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for Celtic Pride, he would have paid . . .

$2.00

Well, everything was best summed up by the guy two urinals down, who said, "I've got to stop drinking soda at these things. I just can't do it anymore." Celtic Pride was funny enough to keep him in his seat, but not funny enough to make him bust a gut and wet himself. Go with a crowd.

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