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George Roy Hill
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Henry Perkins, a mild-mannered accountant, accidentally trades briefcases with another man, to find out that there's five million dollars inside. Henry tells his unsuspecting wife of their new-found fortune, but she doesn't embrace it as well as he does. Soon they're joined by their best friends, a cop on the take, a cop on the hunt, and the dreaded Mr. Big, who has come to claim his million dollars. Written by
As a big fan of Chevy Chase I was interested to watch this film and as with most of the previous comments of this film I agree that it is certainly no "Fletch" or early "Vacation" film. But the point the most people seem to be missing is that this film is an adaptation of a farcical play written by (British Playwright) Ray Cooney and as such any attempt to dissect the plot is akin to dissecting the plot of an absurdist play (see "Rhinoceros" - starring Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel) - there is no point.
I think it is a reasonably good comedy although in general I find farce frustrating - namely for the reasons that annoyed most of the people who have criticised this film i.e. plot makes no sense, situations that could easily be dissolved are allowed to carry on out of control etc. Essentially this film has been created to resemble a stage production i.e small ensemble of core characters and a minimal number of sets.
I think the main characters are fairly strong and the dialogue and interaction between the characters is fast paced and funny although I do think it takes 20/30 minutes to get going.
As for the cast in general it was good and I actually thought that Penelope Ann Miller's character was excellent and she played it very well. Chevy Chase's character was also good and his interaction with both Armand Assante's and Christopher McDonald's characters brought the most laughs.
The bottom line is if you do not like farce you will probably not like this film. I also do think that in general any film that is an adaption of a stage play or remake is always destined to fail especially if the original was not American (a good example would be the remake of "The Ladykillers" - the big question being why did it need to be remade?)
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