Monday, July 11, 2016

year 5 day 160

movie: The Great Outdoors
starring: John Candy, Dan Aykroyd
year: 1988
format: Netflix Canada

plot: When a family vacation is disrupted by one man's brother in law, not even the wilderness is enough to hold them all.

This should have been a wicked buddy comedy, but it falls short on every level. The set up is simple, the two sets of families get under each other's skin for the first 90% of the film, and have to work together at the end to rescue the kids.  There are moments when it feels like it's trying too hard to be likeable, but fails. It's obviously trying to be another version of the "national lampoons vacation" films that were popular at the time, but even in that vein it is too underwhelming.

The chemistry between Candy and Aykroyd is wasted on this script. And then there is little to no chemistry between the two female leads played by Annette Bening and Stephanie Faracy; who are suppose to be the siblings connecting the two families. They might as well have been talking their lines through a wall as much as to each other. Rounding it all out is a poorly drawn out "romance" for the teenaged son, who crushes on a local. Cliched and predictable in every way.

The only moment in the film that could be even slightly considered funny, is when the family accidentally take a photo with a dead guy. The set up for most of the jokes never pan out as they should (the guys go fishing and wake up with leeches, the grilling of lobster tails instead of hot dogs) plus the addition of the raccoon family between parts, just felt like filler with no real point.

what did I learn? Odd couple plotlines should be the easiest to pull off but sometimes are the hardest to get right.

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