I’m kind of cheating a bit on my Nostalgia entry, but I’m hoping four half-counts add up to it counting. 1) This book is about the making of Caddyshack, and the people interviewed are legitimately nostalgic for the making of the movie. 2) It’s a movie about teenagers, even if I personally wasn’t a teenager in the 70s (Tangent time: also, my teen years were spent watching older movies and listening to early 90s grunge and indie bullshit, making for some very uncomfortable twentysomethings hitting on 16 year old me at the record store not realizing I wasn’t their age based on my taste in music). 3) I did in fact grow up watching Caddyshack, as my father sort of forgot how raunchy the movie was (DUDE, HOW?) and thought his daughter would appreciate Bill Murray versus the cute animatronic gopher. 4)This was written by Chris Nashawaty, (former?) Entertainment Weekly writer, and EW was my bible in the early 2000s back when it was still good. So I’m counting this.
Anyway, due to my having read a history of National Lampoon for CBR11, a ton of this was familiar, but the comparison favors Nashawaty’s book. A solid half of the book is devoted to the climate that allowed a movie like Caddyshack to be made. Beginning with the success of National Lampoon as a magazine and some of the Saturday Night Live crew being poached from Lampoon talent, to the runaway success of Animal House buying Harold Ramis and Doug Kenney (among others) more credibility to get away with learning how to make a movie on the fly, there’s a lot of lead up that never feels like wheel-spinning.
The actual making of the movie was apparently as rambunctious as the finished product would suggest – what nostalgia review about young adults in the 70s wouldn’t include copious amounts of drugs? – with the personality clashes from the disparate stars you’d expect. In the same way that it was remarkable a movie like Caddyshack got made – Ramis calls it a six million dollar scholarship to film school (can’t find the quote so the money might be off) – it’s fairly remarkable that Nashawaty got as many people to agree to interviews for this book as he did, including Chevy Chase and Bill Murray.
This was a fun read if you enjoyed the movie, and like me, wondered how it was that so much of 70s comedy was interconnected.