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The Great Outdoors More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Good 80's Comedy!'

Author: gwnightscream from United States
25 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Annette Bening, Stephanie Faracy, Chris Young, Lucy Deakins and Robert Prosky star in this 1988 comedy. Chet Ripley (Candy) is a mild-mannered guy who decides to take his family on vacation to the country. He's happy until his obnoxious brother-in-law, Roman Craig (Aykroyd) shows up with his family. Soon, Chet finds himself having mishaps, facing bald-headed bears and arguing with Roman. Faracy (Blind Date) plays Chet's wife, Connie, Bening (The American President) plays Roman's wife, Kate, Young (PCU) plays Chet's older son, Buck who finds romance with waitress, Cammie (Deakins) while on vacation and the late, Prosky (Christine, Mrs. Doubtfire) plays Wally, the owner of the cabin they stay at. I grew up watching this film and always loved it and Dan & John were great together. I recommend this good 80's comedy.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Made Out of Lips and A**holes

Author: Steve Pulaski from United States
4 July 2010

"The Great Outdoors" reminds me of movies such as the 1996 "Black Sheep". Mainly because the scene were they are trying to catch the bad is so drawn out and silly you can't help but laugh. I was really hoping I could see Chris Farley in here, but this was far to early for him.

"The Great Outdoors" has a simple plot, but a big heart. It's about Chester "Chet" Ripley (John Candy), his wife Connie (Stephanie Faracy), and their two kids taking a trip to their cabin in the woods in Pechoggin, Wisconsin.

The group encounter their Uncle Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd) and Connie's sister Kate (Annette Bening) who invite themselves to their cabin. Chet and Roman become competitive like two rival boys in the school yard. Their childish antics and hilarious acts put the family to dismay.

One of the kids, Buck (Chris Young) meets a girl around his age named Cammie (Lucy Deakins). A local girl who often is stereotypical towards city boys (Buck). They form a little puppy love relationship as Cammie tells Buck she has never officially had a boyfriend for more than two weeks seeing as she works at the resort.

"The Great Outdoors" is a feel good kinda movie. Instead of those problematic kinda shows or movies. We get a movie were you can watch and relax too.

With all those movies like "Righteous Kill" or one of the many dark comedies out there. This one lightens the tone in a competitive was about getting along with your relatives. By the end of the movie I think I can summarize, we all have a Roman Craig in out family.

Starring: John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Stephanie Faracy, Chris Young, Ian Giatti, Annette Bening, and Lucy Deakins. Directed by Howard Deutch and written by John Hughes.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not one of the better late 80s comedies, but hard to hate

Author: Movie_Muse_Reviews from IL, USA
17 June 2008

It's hard to view "The Great Outdoors" as more than just a cog in the high-production machine of late 80s comedy including the talents of John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, etc. Most of the film is incredibly predictable and the plot is almost entirely formulaic, yet despite it all, it's hard to truly despise this film. It's nothing more than average, but still enjoyable. Of all the films that master 80's comedy writer John Hughes has written ("Ferris Bueller," "The Breakfast Club") this is not one of his standouts.

John Candy stars as Chet Ripley, yet another likable protagonist who is always getting screwed over by his jerk of a co-star, in this case Dan Akyroyd as his brother-in-law, Roman Craig. Chet wants peace and quiet in a small Canadian lakefront town with his family when the Craigs drop in uninvited. It's so overdone and overused, but a few of the scenes are quite funny and somewhat unique.

What makes this film different is that it feels more family-oriented. Not in the sense that it's appropriate for all ages, but in the sense that the film offers something for every member of the family. Whether it's the adult dialogue, the films troublesome kids, or the unimportant teenage fling/romance subplot, "Great Outdoors" tries to make a reason for every demographic to see this movie. It seems really contrived, but other than the National Lampoon's "Vacation" movies, this is honestly one of the most family-oriented comedies of that era.

"Great Outdoors" is not a staple of 80s comedy, but it does add some ample padding in the overall collection, especially when it comes to "fun for all ages."

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Deleted scenes

Author: Dektator1 from United States
27 March 2006

Just wondering if anyone else noticed this but I have seen this movie many times and when I saw it on regular TV there is a scene where Chet and Roman are picking up the boat on a trailer. I think it should be right after Roman tells him "You've got it in neutral" Chet then drops it in gear and the boat flies onto the trailer. The next thing you see is Chet on the docks explaining things to Benny. But on the TV version,after the boat is loaded,Chet drives away and as he is leaving, he knocks down 1 or 2 totem poles with his car. I have never seen this on the DVD version. Just wanted to know if anyone else has seen this or if there are any other "missing" scenes......Thanks.

"Pull Over!!"...."No, It's a cardigan but thanks for asking."..."Killer boots man!!" Love that line..among many from Dumb and Dumber.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I love it

Author: ( from Kimberling City, MO.
11 April 2003

This is a childhood favorite of mine, so I guess there's some nostalgia attached to my fondness for this film, but to me, it just keeps getting better. Much like Uncle Buck, every time I watch it, I'm reminded of how much I miss John Candy and what a great loss he was to the world of film. He and Dan Aykroyd had great chemistry and it would have been nice to see them do more stuff together. The other night I was watching "Waking Up In Reno". Afterwards, I popped in "The Great Outdoors" and had a nice double feature. Seriously, if you've never caught this one, then you've missed out big time. Check it out. There's not much thinking (if any) required, just a great time. It plays great on a rainy Saturday.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The greatest camping movie of all time!

Author: Jack the Ripper1888 from Chicagooooooo
23 December 2002

The day before you go out on a family camping trip, remember to watch THE GREAT OUTDOORS. It is played on TV a lot, so if you can't get it at the video store, maybe you can catch it there. I remember growing up watching this movie with my family on TV a lot, and I also remember laughing a hell of a lot. John Candy and Day Aykroyd are great together. They have good chemistry and they have the ability to make their arguing and stupid situations realistic and funny at the same time.

If you're a comedy fan, or if you like John Candy movies (which this is obviously both) then you will like THE GREAT OUTDOORS. Other great John Candy movies are UNCLE BUCK and PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES with Steve Martin.


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Great Outdoors Have Never Been More...Outdoors

Author: jhclues from Salem, Oregon
25 July 2002

There hasn't been a family vacation like this since the Griswold's took that memorable trek across country in search of WalleyWorld and discovered the downside of `quality time' instead. This film follows a similar path, and demonstrates how even the best laid plans can wind up being a blueprint for chaos. The old getting-away-from-it-all `R&R' and well intentioned parent/child `bonding' takes a shot in `The Great Outdoors,' directed by Howard Deutch, which begins with a trip to the Wisconsin woods and ends up in a suite in Comedy Heaven. After all, when you mix some clueless city-slickers with nature and all it's trappings, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Murphy's Law will soon prevail. Here, the filmmakers do, and it does; and in the end, you may not be up for answering that call of the wild in light of all you've witnessed, but you're sure going to be laughing while you think about it. And it certainly makes visiting the woods vicariously seem like the best-- in fact, the `only'-- way to go.

For the perfect `family' vacation, Chet (John Candy) takes his wife, Connie (Stephanie Faracy), and their two boys, Buck and Ben (Chris Young, Ian Giatti) to a lakeside lodge in Wisconsin. Not only is this going to give them all a break from city life, but Chet hopes to do some bonding with his boys, just like he did with his own father at this same lodge when he was a kid himself. He's hoping for that kind of `quality time' that money just can't buy.

Before they can even settle in, however, Chet's plans are history, with the surprise arrival of Roman and (Connie's sister) Kate (Dan Aykroyd, Annette Bening), and their two daughters, Cara and Mara (Hilary Gordon, Rebecca Gordon). And suddenly it's an `extended family' get together, and Roman takes charge. Chet wants to grill hot dogs? Not with Roman around; it's lobster or nothing. Rent a pontoon boat and tour the lake? No way. Let ol' Roman introduce you to the joys of the jet boat (okay, let's vote on it-- jet boat wins!). Throw in some romance between Buck and one of the locals, Cammie (Lucy Deakins); a story about a bald-headed bear; and Chet's encounter with a 96 oz. steak, and you've got a formula for fun and an unforgettable `family' vacation.

Working from an insightful screenplay (by John Hughes) that mines the lighter side of human nature, and with stars Candy and Aykroyd decidedly in their element, Deutch proceeds to establish a pace and timing that perfectly keeps the film on track, as he presents the story in a way that best serves the talent and material at his disposal. Candy and Aykroyd play so well off of one another, and Deutch never fails to capitalize on any and all opportunities the two happen to present as their characters develop. With all he's given to work with, it's a matter of Deutch having the sense to let it happen, while employing his own innate sense of what works to present it all as cohesively and hilariously as possible, which he succeeds in so doing. Rich in characterization and visual gags, Deutch plays up the kind of situations that could very well-- and often do-- happen in such a setting, especially with the kind of personalities depicted here involved. You've heard of the `accident waiting to happen?' Well, meet Chet and Roman.

John Candy is imbued with a natural and empathetic personality he employs to great effect with characters like Jack, in `Summer Rental' and Del Griffith, in `Planes, Trains and Automobiles.' But in `normal guy' mode, Chet just may be Candy's definitive portrayal. In creating Chet, Candy gives you a caring individual, one who is willing to open himself up and meet you more than half-way; a guy who seeks that which is pure and good, and wants to share it once he's found it. He's a character to whom you can readily relate because there's something of Chet in everyone (albeit deeply buried in some cases), and it creates that strong sense of identification that ensures that emotional connection with the audience. And it's played perfectly by Candy, who makes Chet an unforgettable character.

Then there's Dan Aykroyd, who plays Roman absolutely to perfection; this is, in fact, the role he was seemingly born to play. And what makes this character so hilarious and engaging is the fact that there's an `Uncle Roman' in every family, and from the moment he pulls up to the lodge in the big car with the `Roman I' license plates, you know who this guy is. He walks the walk and talks the talk (then talks some more); he's the salesman who could sell a vacuum cleaner to a dust bunny. You'll recognize him immediately because in one form or another he's been to every family function you've ever attended, and Aykroyd has it all SO down, in the way he looks, moves, talks and, most especially in that condescending attitude he affects so well. And watching him interact with Candy's Chet is a total riot. It's a terrific performance by Aykroyd, and except for a bit during the credits when he takes to the dance floor, there's no trace of Elwood Blues here; this guy is 100% `Roman.'

Also adding greatly to the festivities are the solid performances by Faracy, who as Connie more than holds her own with Candy, and Bening, making an auspicious big screen debut as Kate.

The supporting cast includes Robert Prosky (Wally), Zoaunne LeRoy (Juanita), Nancy Lenehan (Waitress) and Britt Leach (Reg). A fun and funny film that is pure entertainment, `The Great Outdoors' is great comedy that showcases two of the best in the business doing what they do best: Making you laugh. Putting Candy and Aykroyd together was inspired casting; it's one of those, `if this works, it's going to be great' propositions. It does, and it is. 9/10.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of John Candy's Greats!

Author: geoff gould ( from Texas, USA
19 July 1999

I liked this movie alot it's hilarious. From the bear scene to John Candy eating that gigantic steak to the bear story to Dan Ackroyd's entrance in John Candy's cabin come out of the woods tempress with horny the bear smokie's cousin to the watersking scene to the horse bucking him off!!! Also what was funny was that John Candy and Dan Ackroyd were bickering the whole time and it still makes me laugh to this day. Stephanie Farcy did a good job playing Candy's wife. But the kids weren't that good though. The twins were really twisted. The guy who played Ben was too lovesick and the other kid was hardly in it. But it's a really funny comedy to watch!!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Great Outdoors

Author: Tim Cox from Marietta, OH
19 March 1999

The combined talents of Candy and Aykroyd cannot save this poorly written comedy from Howard Deutch. There are numerous sight gags; John Candy waterskiing!!! A bear getting its behind shot off. Candy eating a 96 oz steak. While there are humorous moments, the film as a whole is not tied together too tight.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Funny comedy about those in-laws who just have to crash the party.

Author: Aaron1375
10 January 2010

This film was a funny John Candy and Dan Akroyd comedy about a family who is going to the wilderness for a nice little family trip at a cabin. Everything seems to be going fine until the brother-in-law arrives with his family in tow to join the first unsuspecting family during their stay. John Candy heads the family that is at the site first and not really expecting the second family headed by the slightly obnoxious brother-in-law played very well by Dan Akroyd. Though he is a step or two down from the strange obnoxious person he played in the John Belushi comedy "Neighbors". He is rather bad, but this is not a case of the two families really disliking each other like in some other movies. Also, Akroyd's family is a bit more welcome than say Randy Quaid's family was in the movie "Christmas Vacation". So basically the movie is about the two families misadventures while Akroyd's character undermines John Candy's as he brings lobster instead of eating hot dogs and is determined to rent a speed boat rather than a pontoon. He also encourages Candy's character to take the ultimate steak eating challenge. Very good stuff indeed as this time Candy is the more down to earth character that is a bit put upon, he does the opposite role well too as he was good as the guy causing the trouble in "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles". All in all a good comedy that the family can enjoy together, granted there are a few risqué jokes here and there.

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