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When Andy and Elizabeth buy a farm in Vermont, they can't imagine the trouble that awaits them. Andy has quit his job as a sports journalist and is planning to use the peace and quiet of the country to write the Great American Novel. From the moment the movers' truck gets lost with their furniture, though, there's little peace and less quiet. From a manical mailman to a dead body buried in the garden, Andy is distracted by the town and its wacky inhabitants. His effort at a novel is mediocre, at best, and he's threatened by Elizabeth's foray into writing when she attempts a children's book. Can the Farmers survive the townsfolk and each other? Written by
Rick Munoz <email@example.com>
Chevy Chase is normally associated with the Caddyshack, Fletch and Vacation series meaning that his one-shot movies mostly fall by the wayside. Films like Spies Like Us, Nothing But Trouble and Funny Farm have went largely unseen since the advent of DVD in 1997. Neither of these movies have received widescreen releases and have been out of print for years. I was beginning to wonder what Warner had against giving them definitive releases until I discovered an HD master of Funny Farm on the PlayStation Network.
I saw it only once, when I was about 9, and remembered very little. If you're a fan of Clark Griswold then Andy Farmer isn't too far removed. Andy is a sports journalist who retires from the big city to the Redbud, Vermont hoping to enjoy and idyllic, peaceful life and finally write the great, American novel (The Big Heist). When he gets there he and his wife discover that almost everyone and everything is weirder than the last. There are giant snakes in their pond, a dead body buried in their garden, a Sheriff who can't drive, a crazy mailman and a town who basically hate them. And top of all this Andy has severe writer's block while his wife manages to churn out a successful children's novel without really trying.
With careful, measured direction from George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy, The Sting) Funny Farm, based on a novel by Jay Cronley, manages to be a little classier than Chase's usual fare. This makes the lack of a home video version even more puzzling. It has never been released on DVD in the UK, and the 1989 VHS is long gone. If you have access to the PlayStation Network then go for it. I have a funny feeling that Funny Farm and Spies Like Us will probably be released as a Warner Blu Ray Double Feature in the near future, but nothing has been announced so far.
Don't let the mistreatment of this film put you off, it lives up to it's title and is the perfect vehicle for Chevy Chase and his goofy humour.
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