Saturday, July 16, 2011
Movie of the Week
THE GREAT OUTDOORS (1988)
Starring- Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Annette Benning, Robert Prosky
As I prepare to take a short family vacation at a cabin in the woods, I thought it would be appropriate to feature this funny, vacation themed film starring a pair of comedic geniuses. Written by the master of 80's comedy, John Hughes, this film follows Chet Ripley (Candy) and his wife and two sons as they try to have a relaxing, fun filled family trip at a cabin the Wisconsin wilderness. Unfortunately for Chet, his rich, boorish, yuppie brother-in-law, Roman (Aykroyd) crashes the vacation with his wife (Benning) and two creepy twin daughters.
This film is full of funny moments that highlight the abilities of the two stars. Candy does a great job as the regular everyman dad, and Aykroyd is perfect as the slimeball. My favorite parts of the movie showcase the two opposing personalities of the main men. For example when Chet plans to have hot dogs for dinner, and is one-upped by Roman who fixes lobster tails, or when Roman puts Chet up to eating a massive steak in order to get their meals for free. The two wives add the hilarity as well, with Annette Benning in her first role as Roman's obnoxious yuppie wife.
If you have ever stayed at a cabin in the woods, or taken a family vacation, some part of this movie will speak to you. Maybe bald bears haven't ever chased you around the woods, or your twin daughters haven't gotten trapped in an old mine shaft, but you probably have been annoyed by family members, played games, bonded, and had fun on purpose and by accident with your extended and immediate family. That's what happens in The Great Outdoors. Happy summer vacations, everyone.
Things to watch for-
Suck My Wake
Chet's Bear story
Aykroyd does Land of 1,000 dances
The old 96er
"If I can get a dessert down him, think you can throw in a couple of Paul Bunyan hats for the kids?"