December 6, 2014

Funny Farm

George Roy Hill, 1988
Andy Farmer (Chevy Chase) and his wife Elizabeth (Madolyn Smith) decide to get out of New York City and pursue a more peaceful life north in Vermont. But when they arrive in the town of Redbud, it's not the tranquil paradise that they imagined it would be. 

There was was once a period of time when Chevy Chase was a comedic force in Hollywood. Coming off of the success of such iconic films as Caddyshack, Fletch and a couple of the National Lampoon's Vacation films, he was one a few go-to comedic actors of the period (Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Dan Akroyd, John Candy among others). Chase's style is certainly distinct, and ultimately quite two dimensional. The oblivious but sentimental thirty-something. The guy who has some heart to invest in a situation but doesn't necessarily have the grace to see it follow through properly. Funny Farm is an under-appreciated film, and probably one of the best outlets for Chase's dry humor. Though undeniably flawed, there are certainly some memorable elements to the movie. Paying the town’s residents $50 a piece to emulate a Norman Rockwell painting so that they can turn over their cursed home and get the hell out of dodge. Excitedly going home with the new dog, hoping to further reinforce the country living they are so desperate to do - only to have the dog IMMEDIATELY run away. Realizing that the phone you had installed in the new home is a pay phone. It's forgivingly corny and worth a look around the holidays.

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