Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.
Released on June 29, 1984
Directed by Neal Israel
Written by Neal Israel and Pat Proft
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tawny Kitaen, Adrian Zmed, Gary Grossman, Michael Dudikoff, William Tepper, George Grizzard, Barbara Stuart, Robert Prescott, Tracy Smith, Wendie Jo Sperber, Barry Diamond, Deborah Harmon, Monique Gabrielle
Raucous, low-brow, college-age hijinks from the writing crew that brought us Police Academy and Moving Violations, which may or may not be a good thing. A young Tom Hanks stars as a clean-cut loser who’s marrying the hot daughter of rich snobs, and when his loser friends throw him a bachelor party, all kinds of outrageous, scattershot hell breaks loose. But unfortunately for me, there was plenty more ‘hell’ than there was ‘outrageous’.
It was a strange dichotomy seeing Hanks in such a slob humor scenario, but that wasn’t the problem: sadly, the screenwriters made no attempt at taking their pre-wedding comic situations—which were ripe with material tailor-made for something sharp and edgy—and making them at least somewhat based in common-sense reality. Instead, they went for the cheap laugh, and showed absolutely no signs of intelligence while doing so. That was the problem.
Yes, I know this was an R-rated sex/slob comedy, and I should cut it a heavy amount of slack, but it didn’t need to be so freaking…well, unsmart. I had the same laughless, head-shaking-in-disappointment reaction to Caddyshack, too, but yet both of these films usually wind up highly-ranked on everyone’s Top 10 favorite comedies lists, so maybe I’m missing the point, or failing to understand the jokes, or something.
By his mere presence alone, Hanks raised the level of quality a few notches, and co-stars Adrian Zmed and nerdish Gary Grossman added some spark, but trust me, the Animal House benchmark was never in danger of being breached. A few good lines and a spoonful of acceptable sight gags—all involving Hanks—earned this a few hesitant points, but for this genre, it was mild entertainment at best, and a visit to the ’80s I’m none too anxious to make again anytime soon. (4/10)