‘Bernie’ clunky and lacking cohesion

Bernie

Written by Skip Hollandsworth and Richard Linklater

Directed by Richard Linklater

USA, 2012

Bernie’s a really nice guy. I mean really nice. There are a lot of people in Carthage, Texas that still think so, even though he just shot an old woman in the back four times.

Bernie (Jack Black, in a performance as good as any in his career) is the local assistant funeral director in the small town of Carthage, Texas. Bernie might be gay, he’s actively involved in local theater productions, and he’s a spendthrift. Bernie’s specialty is comforting old widows, so when Marjorie Nugent’s (Shirley MacLaine) oil-rich husband dies, he’s immediately on the case. Marjorie and Bernie quickly become the odd-couple, but their relationship rapidly evolves from one of friendship to servitude, taking its toll on Bernie’s perpetually sunny disposition and leading to a surprising crime.

Jack Black
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