When all you Utah Jazz fans go see "Celtic Pride" and you will try to remember that old horror-flick mantra: It's only a movie, it's only a movie.
Come to think of it, that shouldn't be too hard to do, since there isn't a whole lot here that approaches any level of realism.
To start with, "Celtic Pride" has the Jazz in the NBA Championship finals against the Boston Celtics! And in the film's final quarter, it's decided which of these two teams will wear the crown. (By the way, like it or not, you will get caught up in the competition of those final moments on the court.)
But the Jazz-Celtics face-off is actually just the backdrop for the film's real story, as a pair of blue-collar Boston bozos named Mike O'Hara (Daniel Stern) and Jimmy Flaherty (Dan Aykroyd) get riled because a grandstanding player on the Jazz team may steamroll right over their beloved Celtics.
He is Lewis Scott (Damon Wayans), a can't-miss-don't-ask-me shooter who feels he doesn't need the rest of the team to win the championship he takes every shot and he makes every shot. As a result, his teammates have more or less rolled over; they just stand around and let him have the glory.
In truth, of course, there are no Jazz players who come close to being as obnoxious and cocky as this guy, who is such a jerk that someone says of him, "Suddenly, Dennis Rodman doesn't seem so bad."
The film opens by establishing what sports fanatics O'Hara and Flaherty are, and then shifts to the penultimate NBA Championship game, where Scott struts his stuff. That night, when Scott wanders into O'Hara and Flaherty's favorite pub, they decide to get him as drunk as a skunk, hoping it will affect his game the following Sunday. But when the boys wake up the next day with full-blown hangovers, they discover they've kidnapped Scott.
Up to this point, "Celtic Pride" has made some pointed if silly comments about fan-fever and overrated sports celebrities to include a hilarious mock-Nike ad. But until the denouement, when Scott returns to the court for the last game of the series, the film doesn't know where to go or what to do.
The meandering result is generally laughless and dispiriting, right down to the unimaginative polygamy and Mormon Tabernacle Choir gags screamed from the stands by O'Hara and Flaherty. The film also relies heavily on the usual cheap and sleazy gags that just aren't funny.
Stern and Aykroyd do put some energy into their roles, though we've seen them play characters like these a few too many times. But, except when he's on the court, Wayans sleepwalks through his, or perhaps he just doesn't like playing straight-man to Stern and Aykroyd. Maybe he wanted to save it all for his bucket-dunking scenes at Boston Garden. (Don't look for any real Jazz players in the film, by the way; the "actors" on the two teams are actually washed-out NBA wannabes.)
And in the end, when Scott learns his lesson and becomes a team player in the film's final moments, you may want to gag.
"Celtic Pride" isn't the worst sports comedy ever made, but it certainly could have been better.
The film is rated PG-13 for violence, profanity and vulgarity.