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Weekend at Bernie's (1989)
Inane... but a classic nonetheless
Using the word "classic" for this movie may be stretching things a little, but the fact that everybody I know has seen this movie -- and enjoyed it to some extent, is saying something. The concept is ridiculous. Larry (Andrew McCarthy) and Richard (Jonathan Silverman) are invited to their boss, Bernie Lomax's (Terry Kiser), house for the weekend. Bernie winds up getting killed before they get there. The rest of the movie involves the hijinks that occur when Richard and Larry decide to pretend Bernie is still alive so they can enjoy their weekend in paradise. Much of the gags include Bernie's lifeless body being dragged about and posed. What's surprising is that much of the gags actually work. It's a one-joke movie that manages to sustain through the one and a half hours. Pay special attention to the boat scene -- on first viewing my sisters and I were roaring with laughter. Avoid the sequel "Weekend at Bernie's II" like the plague. Rather than inane and funny, the movie is just inane.
No good reason for this movie
I'm wondering what William Goldman was thinking when he wrote the screenplay for this film. As writer of "The Princess Bride" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" you would expect more -- a LOT more. I've never read the Stephen King book but I'm sure it was more than readable wheras this movie is less than watchable. The dialogue is ridiculous, the acting is horrific, and it seems as if they changed writers halfway through the film because the movie suddenly became an action flic rather than (what was supposed to be) a haunting psychological tale. Morgan Freeman, a great actor in most everything he's ever been in, is horrible here. It seemed like he's been studying at the Bruce-Willis-furrowed-brow-action-star school of acting. Apparently he's decided to just read cue cards instead of actually emoting.