Sunday, August 24, 2014

Movie Review: "Summer Rental" (1985)

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Movie"Summer Rental"
Director: Carl Reiner
Year: 1985
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes

Jack Chester (John Candy) is an air traffic controller in Atlanta that's getting a little burned out at work. After a small incident involving a fly, his work is forcing him to take a mandatory vacation. He packs up the family and takes them down to Citrus Cove, Florida for the summer. While they are there, Jack has a run-in with one of the locals, Al Pellet (Richard Crenna), who is the Florida Sailing Regatta champion 7 years running. As luck would have it, Pellet turns out to be Jack's new landlord and demands they cut their vacation short and get out of his newly acquired house. In an effort to save his family's vacation, Jack makes a bet with Pellet over the upcoming yacht race. If Jack can take Al's championship cup, he can finish his vacation rent-free, and if he loses, he leaves and Al still keeps the rent. Jack enlists the help of his new friend Scully (Rip Torn), who loans Jack his boat/fish restaurant the Barnacle for the race. 

This film is a very lighthearted, sweet comedy that is good for chuckles, but not belly-laughs. For being PG, it still has its moments of risque-ness. Ahhhh, the 1980's! It has a similar plot to plenty of other 80's comedies, which seems to represent the formula of the comedies for that decade: a bumbling but likable underdog confronts a usually snotty and wealthy upper-crust jerk who is the best at something. In an effort to make the situation right, it is always settled with a competition in the thing the jerk is good at, leaving said jerk to usually bite the dust. This situation always leaves the films predictable and formulaic, with no real surprises when all is said and done. See: "One Crazy Summer," "Revenge of the Nerds," "Better Off Dead," and countless other films. That being said, none of these other movies have John Candy, and he carries the entire film on his shoulders. It banks on his charm and comedic chops for laughs. It still isn't his best or most memorable film, though he does give a great performance. Candy is very relateable as a person, he reminds us of an every-man type of guy. It's always sad to think that he is no longer with us. Rip Torn plays Scully, a nationally non-descript pirate character, who seems to be performing a role at his restaurant from which he never stops. It's strange to make him be this way, but it also adds some much needed zaniness to the movie.

Overall, it won't make you think too much and is short enough if you're trying to kill some time and have a few laughs. It's a film that the entire family will most likely enjoy because, really, who can't relate to being burned out from work or school and needing to take a vacation?

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 15%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Kick-Ass"

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