Celtic Pride is a 1996 American comedy film written by Judd Apatow and Colin Quinn, and directed by Tom DeCerchio. It stars Daniel Stern and Dan Aykroyd as Mike O'Hara and Jimmy Flaherty, two passionate Boston Celtics fans, and Damon Wayans as Lewis Scott, the Utah Jazz's All-Star shooting guard.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tom DeCerchio|
|Produced by||Roger Birnbaum|
|Screenplay by||Judd Apatow|
|Story by||Judd Apatow|
|Music by||Basil Poledouris|
|Edited by||Hubert De La Bouillerie|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$9,255,027 (USA)|
Best friends for life, physical education teacher Mike O'Hara and plumber Jimmy Flaherty are united by their love of Boston and its sports teams, especially the Boston Celtics, who are playing their last season in the old Boston Garden. When the Celtics drop Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Utah Jazz, setting up a deciding Game 7 in Boston, Mike and Jimmy find themselves depressed and hopeless. On top of all this, Mike has moved back in with Jimmy after his wife Carol, fed up with his unhealthy obsession with the Celtics, left him and took their son Tommy with her. Jimmy and Mike stumble upon the Jazz's selfish, one-man-show shooting guard Lewis Scott at a Boston nightclub. Hoping at first to get him drunk enough so he'll be hungover for Game 7, Mike and Jimmy pose as Utah fans. This however leads to them running into their idol Larry Bird, who scolds them for being what he thinks are "fair weather" fans. However, the pair get more than they bargained for when the next morning they end up kidnapping Scott after he wakes up at Jimmy's apartment. The two decide to hold Scott until after the game, reasoning that if they are going to prison, they might as well help the Celtics win in the meantime.
Scott's streetwise, arrogant ways contrast with Jimmy and Mike's bumbling blue-collar lifestyle. He derides them for being washed-up losers, and insinuates Mike is only after him because he is jealous of Scott's fame and ability. Mike, on the other hand, berates Scott for his behavior on and off the court, including starring in a campy Oscar Mayer hot dog commercial and skipping practices. Scott attempts to turn Jimmy against Mike, and, when this fails, escapes, only to be foiled by an antagonistic cabbie and a local cop, Kevin, both fellow Celtics fans.
Ultimately, Mike challenges Scott to a game of one-on-one and the pair is incapacitated well before the final game is set to begin. Before he runs off, Scott presents the pair with a dilemma, they must root for him and hope the Jazz win, otherwise he will turn them both in to the police. Mike reconciles with his wife and son, knowing he might be going to prison, and Jimmy says goodbye to his grandmother. At the game, the two convince the other Celtics fans they are only pretending to root for the Jazz, and the first half ends with the Celtics leading. Mike, who knows the Jazz are losing because Scott refuses to pass the ball, gives him a pep talk from the stands, and Utah closes the gap to one point with a little over 7 seconds remaining. With one play left and the Jazz with the ball, Mike and Jimmy choose life over the Celtics, rooting for Utah and rushing the court after they win. Approached by Kevin who earlier ignored his cries for help, Lewis denies Mike and Jimmy committed the kidnapping, saving them from prison.
A few months later, Mike has promised his wife he would never interfere with an NBA Finals game again. But now it's football season. He and Jimmy sneak into the hotel room of Deion Sanders at 3:00 a.m.
- Daniel Stern as Mike O'Hara
- Dan Aykroyd as Jimmy Flaherty
- Damon Wayans as Lewis Scott
- Gail O'Grady as Carol O'Hara
- Christopher McDonald as Coach Kimball
- Paul Guilfoyle as Kevin O'Grady
- Adam Hendershott as Tommy O'Hara
- Scott Lawrence as Ted Hennison
- Vladimir Cuk as Lurch
- Deion Sanders as himself
- Bill Walton as himself
- Darrell Hammond as Chris McCarthy
- Larry Bird as himself
- Marv Albert as himself
- Bob Cousy as himself
The film was not a major success despite its star power, grossing less than $10 million domestically. The film received negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an approval rating of 9% based on reviews from 23 critics. Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B- on scale of A to F.
Hal Hinson of The Washington Post wrote, "Celtic Pride is clearly intended as a spoof on the contemporary mania for athletics. But not only is the picture woefully short on laughs, it's also coarse, overbearing and, in places, downright insulting". TV Guide said "Celtic Pride supplies predictably lowbrow yocks for jocks, and its rather disturbing racial implications go entirely unacknowledged," and awarded it 1 and half stars out of five.
In a rare, more positive review, Joe Leydon of Variety said "Not quite a three-pointer, but definitely more than an airball, Celtic Pride is an uneven but largely likable basketball-themed comedy that should lay up decent B.O. numbers and perform even better in the homevid arena."
- "Celtic Pride (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes.
- "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
- Hal Hinson (April 19, 1995). "A Basketball Caper That's Out of Bounds". The Washington Post.
- "Celtic Pride". TVGuide.com.
- Leydon, Joe (19 April 1996). "Celtic Pride". Variety.