There have been a number of sporting comedy films made over the years but only a few have struck the right balance of capturing the sport in question while also providing plenty of laughs and entertainment along the way.
Many attempts at striking this blend have failed to come off in the past, but the five films below show that it can be achieved with, at times, hilarious and even heart-warming results.
5 – Happy Gilmore (1996)
Adam Sandler plays the title character, a failed ice hockey player who turns his hand to golf and finds he has a unique talent, certainly when it comes to his slapshot-style swing.
Gilmore begins entering golf tournaments to try and earn enough money to buy back his debt-written grandmother’s house, but he faces a rival in Shooter McGavin, who purchases the house from under the nose of our protagonist.
The duo strike a deal at the Tour Championship which would see Gilmore get the house back if he wins the tournament, while he would have to quit golf altogether if McGavin triumphed.
As expected there are a number of twists and turn during the final round, but Gilmore ultimately prevails in typical stylish fashion by sinking a miraculous trick shot.
4 – Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001)
Ricky Tomlinson stars as unfashionable manager Mike Bassett in this mockumentary football film, which sees the protagonist just about guide England through to the World Cup finals in Brazil.
The film mainly focuses on Bassett’s antics off the pitch, particularly his less than favourable relationship with the media and some of his own staff.
Remarkably after a slow start at the World Cup, Bassett steers England through to the semi-finals where they are eventually beaten by the host nation.
However, Basett and his players receive a heroes’ welcome upon their return home, with the now heralded manager confirming he will remain in charge of the team going forward.
3 – Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
Vince Vaughan and Ben Stiller star in this film that follows two rival teams competing in a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament.
Vaughan plays gym owner Peter LaFleur and he forms a team to enter a dodgeball tournament in a bid to try and save his cherished local gym from being taken over by a corporate health fitness chain owned by Stiller’s character White Goodman.
Unsurprisingly the two teams end up meeting in the final of the tournament and it goes down to sudden death between LaFleur and Goodman, with the former ultimately winning the prize money that enables him to save his gym, while also buying a controlling stake in Goodman’s company.
2 – Space Jam (1996)
Basketball legend Michael Jordan stars as himself in this film that is loosely themed around his retirement in 1993 and comeback two years later.
Jordan is enticed out of retirement by the Looney Tunes to help them win a basketball match against a team of aliens, who intend to enslave them as attractions at their theme park.
The Looney Tunes team are trailing by a point during the final few seconds, but Jordan is able to win the game for our heroes by using cartoon physics to extend his arm and dunk the ball, a technique he picked up from none other than Bugs Bunny.
1 – Cool Runnings (1993)
This hilarious family film is loosely based on the true story of the Jamaica national bobsleigh team’s debut in competition at the 1988 Winter Olympics.
John Candy stars as disgraced former Olympian Irving “Irv” Blitzer, who at first reluctantly takes charge of the Jamaican bobsleigh team.
The team qualify for the Winter Olympics in Calgary and, despite being treated as outsiders, they are in with a chance of winning a medal during the final day of the competition.
However, due to their equipment being substandard, the team crash on their final run, but, determined to finish, they pick their bobsleigh up and walk over the line, receiving a heartwarming round of applause from onlookers along the way – a scene which is enough to bring a tear to the eye of anybody.
If you like your sports movies a little more on the serious side, check out our list of the 5 Greatest Sports Movies of All Time.