A curious little film about life, the ironically titled “A Gentleman’s Game” has all the characteristics of a Hallmark Channel original, right down to the cheesy DVD cover art. Nevertheless, as directed by J. Mills Goodloe, this R-rated sports drama is more mature than your typical family fare, replete with salty language and a darker view of life as seen through the eyes of young Timmy Price (Mason Gamble).
Timmy is a golf prodigy, but his platitude-spouting father (Dylan Baker) — “You can’t win them all, we gave it a shot, all that matters is we tried,” he says at one point — forces him to work as a caddie. Consequently, the young man learns harsh lessons about the game he loves and the people who play it. Slowly, he realizes the world is not as cut and dried as he believed after a series of events bring him face-to-face with a former pro-turned-failure (Gary Sinise), a racist country club snob (Philip Baker Hall), and a thumbless caddie with a dark secret.
It’s all a bit heavy-handed, and the results aren’t nearly as polished as one would expect. Still, some interesting ideas make “A Gentleman’s Game” something of a double bogey — not bad, but far from a winning formula.