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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday Movie Night: Tommy Boy (1995)

This movie came out in 1995 when I was 6, and not allowed to watch adult movies. It's understandable though. Even though I do believe I would have laughed more then than I did as an adult, as slapstick humor has become less appealing with age. What works though is the friendship between David Spade and Chris Farley who don't ever have to force the humor. For some reason Farley's character seems like a poor schmuck you just feel for.

Summary: Tommy is not too smart, he's immature, and isn't aspiring to much. He's also a heir to an auto part company, but after his father dies he's left having to battle out his relatives who are married into the family. His father has married a woman who's only goal is basically to earn more money from the empire, whether that means selling it and losing it from the family, she doesn't care. Tommy is determined to keep his dad's name alive through the business though, and sets out to keep it alive with the help of the man also working for his dad, Richard.


Acting: I think the real life friendship of David Spade and Chris Farley helps the movie a lot. It is straight up silly humor, but the fact that the guys seem to genuinely care about each other makes the movie a lot stronger, and the responses to the humor work to get laughs. Now everyone else is sort of forgettable though like Bo Derek, who is Beverly, the woman who marries Tommy's father, and is a risk to the business along with her supposed son, Paul, who is portrayed by Rob Lowe. Brian Dennehy doesn't last long as the father, but his few moments as Big Tom add something to the movie. For David Spade though this is one of his better movies as he is Richard, the right hand man of Big Tom before he dies. I honestly haven't seen Spade do much work that is good, but it was nice to see a time before he started wearing the bad shoulder length hair, and could portray another type of character that was a smart aleck, but not a jerk or complete joke.

Filming: The movie has some hit and misses with how the comedy comes off for me. For those into the slapstick style though you might find a lot more that is funny. Personally, the funniest scene was that of the deer thought dead waking up in the car. In the way it shows the stupidity of both. What helps the movie though is the story trying to keep heart because that is rare for a comedy even one like this which can be really dumb in nature.

Plot: I like how the movie gets rolling straight out of the gate by showing how the persona of Tommy is. He isn't serious about anything, and it takes the death of his father to finally open his eyes to what could happen to the company his father left to carry on his name, and well to give to his son. If there was nothing else that mattered to Tommy it was at least his dad, and thankfully he has a person that he can rely on who was close to his dad in the management of the business. I like the balance of seriousness and comedy even if the comedy didn't always fly with me.

Tommy Boy is one of the 90's comedy classics, but mainly because it's the best from a comedian who was at the peak of his comedy career in the 90's when he went. It was the best he had to offer in his career thus far to hardcore fans of his type of comedy. While the movie gets a little dirty here and there the comedy still relies on just being funny because it is, and not trying to cheap out. Then again, this is the guy who brought us 50 First Dates, which I loved the heart and comedy of, so it's not shocking this one turned out well.

Rating 7 of 10.


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