Tommy Boy

Dir: Peter Segal
Starring: Chris Farley, David Spade, Bo Derek, Dan Aykroyd

I normally have a very low tolerance for the "stupid hero" type of movie - which largely explains why I hate Jim Carrey so much - but must confess there's a certain sweet innocence about Farley here. He plays the dimwitted heir to the family business, left adrift after the death of his father, who has to sell half a million brake-pads to save the factory from closure, the business from takeover, and the town from becoming like Flint, Michigan (a sign to Flint is shown at one point, making me wonder if a nod to Michael Moore and his criticism of hypocritical big business is intended).

No prizes for guessing whether Tommy succeeds - everything here unfolds exactly as you expect. But the journey is more entertaining than you might imagine, David Spade helping enormously as the unwilling sidekick, leavening what could be indigestible schmaltz with copious sarcasm. Like the best Stephen Chow comedies, the most memorable moments are where you feel like you've slipped into a surreal, alternate universe. Your car grows steadily more decrepit by the day, there's a live deer in the back seat, or you pretend to be under attack from killer bees. That all this makes perfect sense in the film, demonstrates what separates it from its more idiotic brothers.


Fat guy in a little coat...
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