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Larger Than Life
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Reviews & Ratings for
Larger Than Life More at IMDbPro »

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Better than I thought it would be

7/10
Author: culwin
21 December 1998

As with most animal/comedian movies, I thought this one would be a bomb. However, it wasn't as bad as I expected. The plot is decent and the funny parts are mostly funny, instead of just stupid. Kids and adults both will enjoy the elephant and the occasional outdoor scene, as Bill Murray and his new friend trek across the beautiful American countryside. This movie also touches on serious topics like animal abuse. Bill Murray is funny as usual and Matthew McConaughey puts in an unusual and funny performance. This movie isn't going to win any Oscars, but provides good entertainment, without resorting to sex or violence. I gave it 7 out of 10.

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Slow starter but worth sticking it out

6/10
Author: budikavlan from Austin, Texas
19 November 2002

I would probably have given up on this movie had it not been showing in the middle of the night against infomercials and test patterns. It takes about 30 minutes before it really gets going, when Bill Murray and Vera hit the road. Bill Murray's performance is serviceable if unspectacular; it's a rather underwritten role that could have been played by most anyone, but the low-wattage version of Murray's charm does come through from time to time. Janeane Garofalo is well-used in a small role, but Matthew McConnaughey makes the most vivid impression in truly goofy part as an insane truck driver. Except for exposition, the first quarter or so of the film is dull, but the rest makes for pleasant if low-key entertainment. The "relationship" between man and elephant is genuinely touching.

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

A whole TRUNK of fun!

10/10
Author: mikefarrell32
1 November 2003

I really liked this movie. It shows how much fun an elephant can be. I also liked Bill Murray in this. After I saw him in Ghostbusters and other movies I really wanted to see Larger Than Life. Also I think Bill Murray is good at comedy comedy not the stupid comedy that Adam Sandler gives you in Little Nickey. All and all I like the actors and the elephant in this movie so I give it a ten.

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18 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

An interesting metaphor for the grieving process

Author: sprocketbox
29 November 2003

I think, if you take a moment, you can actually see that this movie is an interesting metaphor for the grieving process.

Grief can be seen as a big uncontrollable thing that you didn't even know was yours until you have it laid in your lap. Then you have to figure out what to do with it, maybe make friends with it. Maybe find some way to control it. And, eventually, you have to give it up.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

I really liked this film

7/10
Author: skippydmb from rochester, ny
19 December 2004

I remember seeing this movie with my Aunt a little after it came out in the theaters. We were the only people in the place and that shocked us because it turned out to be a very good movie. I remember saying to her that it was a good thing nobody else was there because we laughed as loud I ever have. I haven't seen it since then but I would love to see it again and find out if it is on DVD. It surprises me that this isn't at any of the rental places I have been to, including the almighty blockbuster. I think I was about 19 at the time it came out. This would be a great family movie too. I recommend seeing this. It is very underrated.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Nothing special, but still fun – Murray carries it from start to finish

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
21 September 2002

Jack Corcoran is an inspiration speaker who is trying to get his career moving to get the bigger gigs after having a best selling book. He bases his theory on his ability to get over his father's death just before his birth. He is surprised to find his father has just died and has actually left him an inheritance. He travels out to collect to find that his father was a clown and his inheritance is substantial -–in fact she's an elephant. Now he has less than a week to get across country to deliver the elephant to one of several interested parties.

Around about this period Bill Murray films kinda sunk to a bit of a low in terms of money making and quality. One thing has kept him a star however and that's himself – even an average film can be made enjoyable by him, and that's what happens here. The plot is predictable – who will he give the elephant to, the evil trainer or the jungle bunny? Will he make it in time? The answers are easy, but no matter. The message about loving animals etc are a little sentimental and don't sit well with the idea that we are actually watching an animal that belongs to a movie organisation such as the one being shown here as evil!

The comedy is also predictable – we know the elephant will knock things down and lift things up etc, but it's not overdone and is amusing to a point. It may not be rocket science but it will please kids for sure. For adults the physical nature of this comedy is tempered by a world weary Murray who really does make the film worth watching. He is a funny guy and although he is on auto-pilot here, he is still very good.

The film rests solely on his shoulders and he just about carries it off. The rest of the cast may well be made of faces but they are all in minor roles. People like Piven, Garofalo, Fiorentino, Jerry Alder, Presnell etc are all round the edges making it look tidy but really do little. McConaughey has a bigger, minor role but he isn't very good. His character is funny but he doesn't quite carry it off and I wonder if he is embarrassed by it now.

Overall this sort of thing usually stinks the place up, and this one doesn't. It's nothing special but is amusing enough to pass the time. This is mainly due to Murray doing his usual world-weary cynical act – we've seen it before but that doesn't mean it's not still funny.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Loved it

Author: Flameshadow from NY
1 September 2003

I thought it was Great, as an animal film and as a comedy. I laughed for the bulk of it, and nearly cried at the end (it's nothing near drama, I'm just weird). Perhaps it got a little sappy at times, but never 'so-sappy-you-could-die' and was never vulgar, hurray! I suppose I could go into all the themes and merits of this movie, but I'll just suggest you go see it.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Funny as heck.

10/10
Author: nickff from Indianapolis, IN
13 December 2001

Bill Murray is a comedic genius. His demeanor is hilarious. He is the driving force of this movie. Even though this movie is meant for kids, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I wish they would release it on DVD, but Disney is funny about what they put out on DVD. If you enjoy a good guffaw, watch this movie.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Classic film making, one of Murray's best and what a grand sidekick!

10/10
Author: Amy Adler from Toledo, Ohio
11 April 2016

Jack Corcoran (Bill Murray) is a small-time motivational speaker whose manager (Jeremy Piven) is trying to get him bigger gigs. Mr. C's mantra and book is called Get Over It, as Jack personally had a broken childhood that proved difficult. You see, his father drowned when Jack was a boy and his mother (Anita Gillette) raised him as a single parent. Now, however, Jack is an aspiring Anthony Robbins with a beautiful fiancée. Hold the phone! A lawyer contacts Jack by letter to tell him his father recently passed away and left him an inheritance. WHat ? ? Mom admits she lied to Jack because his father, Kirby, was too irresponsible to hold down a job, so she left him and invented the tragic tale of his demise. But, hey, maybe money can heal so Jack travels to the east coast to visit the lawyer. After some tricky moves by this attorney, Jack signs a contract. But, Holy Dumbo Batman, Jack has just inherited a circus elephant named Vera. It seems papa's last job was with the circus and his great act included a trained elephant. What the heck is Jack going to do with a pachyderm? Yet, he must take possession of Vera immediately. After spending the night in a junkyard with Vera, Jack finds out that a zookeeper in Los Angeles would like Vera very much, as she is returning some elephants to their natural habitat. Thus, the cross country trip of trips begins. From raiding a whole salad bar for the elephant's meals to riding in cattle car, Jack and Vera try to make it to the west coast in time. Will they? This darling film is an instant classic. Murray has rarely been better than this ordinary Joe thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Piven, Gillette, Janeane Garafolo, and all the other cast members are fine, too. As for the elephant Vera, what a charmer with loads of talent. She makes everyone WISH they had such an inheritance come their way. With a broad, attractive look at the various regions of the USA, as the viewer follows the duo's trip, the scenery is a pleasure, too. Please get this great movie for you and your loved ones in the very near future. Its a first choice for the whole family, young and old.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

a misfire that works

7/10
Author: grizzledgeezer from United States
7 March 2015

This could have been a stupid, idiotic film. Well, actually, it /is/ a stupid, idiotic film. But it works, mostly because of Bill Murray's performance.

A man who has to unload his father's trained elephant does not make for a promising story, comic or dramatic. What makes this film work is Murray's generally laid-back performance. His character -- a motivational instructor who teaches patient and thoughtful behavior -- displays such. He rarely gets badly upset, and there's little of the frantic slapstick one would expect from other actors. (I suspect Roy Blount was consciously writing such a story.) When a reviewer states that the film misses the obvious sight gags its premise suggests -- well, that's the point of it, right?

This isn't a film that demands a second viewing. But it's far better than you might expect, and its refusal to assault the viewer is welcome. It's a perfect film when you don't want to watch anything demanding.

PS: I just love the parents who say this (and other films) are good family films because they lack sex, violence, adult language, etc. Unfortunately, most such films are garbage that pervert a child's taste.

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