Funny Farm (1988) Poster

(1988)

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10/10
Chevy's Best Film
jrs-822 February 2005
I realize that comedy is subjective and things that I think are funny others may not think is too funny. But I am dumbstruck at some of the negative reviews for "Funny Farm." Far and away this is Chevy's best film. I think the screenplay is beautifully written with so many small touches of humor hidden within a scene that to list them would take forever. I will agree that the last act takes a bit of a wide turn in reality but it doesn't stray so far that the film goes off track.

The main story is your typical fish out of water story but what person can't identify with Chase's Andy Farmer in one way or another? Of course the film takes it to the extreme and it's all the funnier for it. And the characters are a biting reminder that not everyone is normal or sane for that matter. The waitress who serves lamb fries without explaining what that really is until it is desperately too late. The sheriff who has to take a cab because he flunked his driver's test. The mailman who throws the mail to the road because he is drunk by the time he reaches the Farmer's residence.

And the small touches? How about the dog that runs away from home just after being brought home for the first time? Or the umpire whose strike zone is a bit wide. The odd fate of Claude Musselman? And let's not forget the phone operator who can tell the sound of two pennies being dropped in a jar but fails to realize it's not a pay phone Chase is calling from? I laughed hard and often which is something odd for me in any film with Chevy Chase. In all the years with all of his films I can honestly say I have only enjoyed five of them (Foul Play, Vacation, Fletch, Christmas Vacation and this one. That's right I am not a fan of Caddyshack)and this is his best.

One more small moment sums up the film's humor for me. Chase is fishing with some men he has just met. One of them men gets a hook stuck in his neck. Instead of trying to pull it out Chase thinks it easier to knock the man out so THEN they can pull the hook out. After punching the man three times in the face one of the other men finally steps in and says "You're not knocking him out, you're only beating the p*ss out of him."
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Overlooked comedy gem
krumski17 February 2000
Now, admittedly, I saw this during a period of my life when I believed Chevy Chase could do no wrong but even so, this is one that holds up, and was unfairly lambasted by the critics. From the ads (if you can even remember that far back!) this looked like it was just going to be a "Vacation" rip-off, sort of "The Griswolds Move To the Country." Believe me, the humor in this film is much slyer and more charming than anything in the Vacation pictures (of which the first one was solid, the next two lame). The film is about a sportswriter (Chase) who quits his job in order to move out to the country with his wife (the wonderful Madolyn Smith) and write the Great American Novel. The movie details his gradual come uppance, as he realizes that neither country living nor his talent is all that it's cracked up to be.

The film wonderfully skews the convention of the innocent country rubes moving to the big city and being overwhelmed by its meanness and craziness. Here, it's the cityfolk who move wide-eyed to the country - and are amazed to find there a roll call of crazies, misanthropes, and just plain wierdos. Does this view of country life have any basis in reality? Probably not, but then the film isn't really trying to be a satire but instead a pure lunatic comic fantasy. And it gives us a rich array of supporting characters - from the town sheriff who hasn't yet passed his driving test and so must ride around in cabs, to the owner of an antiques store whose merchandise are all personal. All these characters are priceless, and the film just keeps coming up with more and more of them - until it has created this pleasantly bizarre and warped Otherworld, of a kind that only comedy can truly provide.

Best of all is the way in which Chase and Smith react to all of this and try to make some sense of it. I very clearly say "Chase and Smith" because the film belongs equally to both of them. It had to be billed as a Chevy Chase Comedy, of course, since he's the big star here, but this is no star trip; from the very first, the wife is made an equal partner in the trials and the laughs, and it's the way the two go through their new life together that provides much of the comedy. It also helps take the edge off of the usual Chevy Chase persona: in Funny Farm he's neither glib and disinterested (as in the Fletch movies) nor over the top silly (like in the Vacation movies). He comes across instead like a normal, personable guy who just finds himself caught in insane circumstances.

Finally, the climactic sequence of the film is absolutely priceless - one of the most brilliantly sustained comic set-pieces you'll see in any movie, of any era. Funny Farm is the type of movie which gives you a great time and leaves you with a big, dopey grin on your face after it's all over. Trust me, even if you don't normally like Chevy Chase, you'll love Funny Farm.
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7/10
Hilarious
Ralph19 August 2003
This movie is funny. I don't know why it has such low ratings. I like the sarcasm involved in having a married couple from the city moving out to a farm. This is a movie that I recommend to anyone who wishes to have a few laughs watching Chevy Chase and his superb timing for acting in comedies such as this one.
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Great Addition To Chevy's 'Average Guy' Comedies
BoccaDeVerita4 September 2003
While watching this movie, I realized that on several levels we live in a small town not much different from the Vermont one depicted. Our tourist town is located on a Channel Island in the Pacific, but the characters couldn't be more identical to those Chevy and wife deals with in the rural town they move to for serenity and quiet. Everyone tests their resolve to live in that community, and in failing to measure up to their standards, they are treated as outsiders. Once they understand the neighborhood peculiarities, everyone becomes acquainted, then accustomed to one another. While finding a common bond and learning to fit in, there is one silly misadventure after another. There are a lot of laughs in this movie that allow a person to stand back and realize that this is how small communities conduct themselves everywhere, and is a study in human behavior. Chevy's characters rarely make anything easy, which combined with a seemingly conservative personality has become his calling card.
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8/10
Fun film, worth a watch.
LebowskiT100030 January 2003
I wouldn't say this is one of Chevy Chase's best films, but this one still has some good things to offer. There is a fair amount of good laughs and an entertaining story, but not as great as some of Chevy's other credits.

Chevy Chase does a fine job with his role, playing a very similar character to most of his other films. Chevy is good at what he does and doesn't seem to stray very far from what works. Madolyn Smith-Osborne is fantastic in the film, looking just gorgeous and playing her role very well. The only other actors that were familiar to me were the movers in the beginning of the film, Mike Starr and Glen Plummer. Both actors do a fine job, although very small roles in the film.

If you are a fan of Chevy Chase, then I'd recommend seeing this film, you'll probably enjoy it. But, if Chevy Chase isn't your cup of tea, then this may not be the film for you. In any case, if you do see it, I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for reading,

-Chris
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7/10
Would you like Lamb Fries with that?
Shawn Watson30 January 2010
Chevy Chase is normally associated with the Caddyshack, Fletch and Vacation series meaning that his one-shot movies mostly fall by the wayside. Films like Spies Like Us, Nothing But Trouble and Funny Farm have went largely unseen since the advent of DVD in 1997. Neither of these movies have received widescreen releases and have been out of print for years. I was beginning to wonder what Warner had against giving them definitive releases until I discovered an HD master of Funny Farm on the PlayStation Network.

I saw it only once, when I was about 9, and remembered very little. If you're a fan of Clark Griswold then Andy Farmer isn't too far removed. Andy is a sports journalist who retires from the big city to the Redbud, Vermont hoping to enjoy and idyllic, peaceful life and finally write the great, American novel (The Big Heist). When he gets there he and his wife discover that almost everyone and everything is weirder than the last. There are giant snakes in their pond, a dead body buried in their garden, a Sheriff who can't drive, a crazy mailman and a town who basically hate them. And top of all this Andy has severe writer's block while his wife manages to churn out a successful children's novel without really trying.

With careful, measured direction from George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy, The Sting) Funny Farm, based on a novel by Jay Cronley, manages to be a little classier than Chase's usual fare. This makes the lack of a home video version even more puzzling. It has never been released on DVD in the UK, and the 1989 VHS is long gone. If you have access to the PlayStation Network then go for it. I have a funny feeling that Funny Farm and Spies Like Us will probably be released as a Warner Blu Ray Double Feature in the near future, but nothing has been announced so far.

Don't let the mistreatment of this film put you off, it lives up to it's title and is the perfect vehicle for Chevy Chase and his goofy humour.
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8/10
My favorite Chevy Chase film!
derekprice197410 August 2004
This is my favorite Chevy Chase film for several reasons. Here they are: 1.) I love the scenery in the movie--Vermont, four distinct seasons, gorgeous Cape Cod house. 2.) I love and can totally relate to the story line. When I first saw this movie, I was in college and playing tennis on the tennis team. We traveled to a city where EVERYTHING went wrong--and, the people were just plain weird. I saw this movie, and I totally empathized with Andrew and Elizabeth Farmer! 3.) The humor in this movie is not over the top as it is with some of Chevy Chase's other films--everything is believable, and it's all very funny. 4.) I want a yellow dog!!! The yellow labrador in this movie will make you want one of your own! My only complaint with this film: The DVD version is not in Widescreen, and there are no special features. But, for $5.88 in the Wal-Mart cheap bin, YOU CANNOT GO WRONG. This is an excellent movie to watch over and over again.
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9/10
One of Our Favorite Comedies
ArizWldcat30 April 2005
This is one of the best Chevy Chase comedies there is. The script in intelligent, his co star, Madolyn Smith, is wonderful and she and Chase have fantastic chemistry. The plot involves Andy and Elizabeth Farmer (get it?) who move from the city to small town Vermont so that he can write a book. They plan to start a family, but first, they have to get used to the eccentric people they are surrounded by. I have watched this movie at least a dozen times, and I still laugh out loud. We just bought the DVD (had the VHS but sold it a while back), and we're having fun introducing this hilarious movie to our kids. They love it too! This is a great, funny, sweet little film that more people should see.
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6/10
„Funny farm" is a funny and underrated movie
Maziun27 August 2013
This is the last movie of George Roy Hill – the director of "The Sting". It's a good farewell for him , since this is a funny movie . Chevy Chase is in good shape as the writer who struggles to write his first book. Madolyn Smith who plays his girlfriend is also good and very charming.

It's one of those movies that will help you relax after a hard day . It reminds me a little of "Money pit" with Tom Hanks. It has the taste of typical 80's comedy - a lot is going on and the characters are colorful. I was either laughing , snickering or grinning through all the movie. I loved the jokes with the dogs. One can't stop , while the other can barely move . The small town has also few interesting characters : crazy postman , teenagers stealing road signs , weird old lady from antique shop. There is nice love/hate/love relationship between Chase and Smith . In the end the movie kinda becomes a little Christmas movie.

Overall it's a very pleasant movie . I think it's underrated and deserves more attention. I give it 6/10.
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8/10
Underrated comedy and often overlooked
Aaron Empsall16 September 1999
I think this movie has some classic lines by Chevy Chase and the town people, why this movie doesnt get talked about more, i dont know, i happened to laugh my head off at it, but of course i love chevy chase in about everything but invisible man and cops and robbersons
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8/10
Funny Funny farm
dgreene9926 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Funny Farm has some pretty funny moments with the movers, the crazy mailman, a sheriff that rides in a taxi, yellow dog, the Redbud village people and then there is the beautiful Madolyn Smith... the ambiance of the movie really sets it in the location and makes you believe they are really in that crazy small little town... similar to other fish out of water stories (Green Acres, Mr Blanding Builds His Dream House, etc.) but with the Chevy touch!

Then to have it all turn around and the reason they moved out turns out to work for her rather than his... great story!!

Chevy at his best... see Funny Farm for all it's intricate little funny story lines that cumulate with Chevy and Madolyn both getting what they want in the end. Redbud is reminiscent of a small town in NC I used to spend my summers while growing up (maybe not that crazy, but it had it's moments)
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8/10
An absolute riot
RoseNylan3 January 2009
This is the way a comedy should be. Simple, easy to follow, and with plenty of laughs. Chevy Chase is simply perfect as a New York City sportswriter that moves upstate to start a new writing career. You can only guess what happens next.

From the minute they arrive at their new home upstate, everything goes to hell. The house has no phone, the movers get lost, the dog runs away, and everyone that lives in the area is unbearable to be around.

Chevy Chase's deadpan humor is used here better than any other movie, save for Fletch and director George Roy Hill of such classic films like "The Sting" and "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid" gives this film a much appreciated dose of Norman Rockwellian Americana.
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I don't understand all the negative comments--This is a great film!
Craig Larson12 September 2002
Not only one of the funniest Chevy Chase films, but one of the funniest comedies of the 80s in general. I don't get all the negatives posted here--this movie is laugh-out-loud funny and very underrated. The townspeople are hilarious and the whole sequence at the end where Chevy and his wife are paying people to be on their best behavior, creating a "Norman Rockwell" portrait of small-town life so they can sell their house, is among the most inspired and funny sequences ever. The whole battle of the sexes between Chevy and wife Madolyn Smith (whatever happened to her? she's beautiful and has great comic timing) when she's successful writing a children's book, while he can't get his crime novel off the ground, is more classic material. Goodness knows Chase didn't get very many chances to shine--besides Caddyshack and the original Vacation, this is probably his best work.
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10/10
Great Film!
leachSNC12 July 2002
This down-to-earth film is marked as a top 50 in my book. Its a must see! It's not only one of the funniest films I've seen, but also one of the most unique. During the whole movie, I could connect with the troubles and craziness of neighbors.
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7/10
better than given credit
doyce4sub7 May 2005
I've seen this movie on numerous occasions and still think it's good. We moved to a small town years ago. Since then the town has grown into a small city but originally we encountered things that the locals considered "normal" but we found "odd". The mail man that throws the mail out the window as he drives by--I had a mail man that wanted me to hold the box at the correct height while he put the mail in the box. That happened while I was putting the box up and he wouldn't hand me my mail but had to put it in the box. A sheriff that couldn't drive. There are various things of that nature in this movie. On another note the sexiest scene that I have ever seen in a movie is when Madolyn Smith is digging the garden and finds a coffin. Look between her legs closely and you will see what I mean. The Chevy Chase character eventually becomes as "odd" as his neighbors. Watch this one-you'll really like it.
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9/10
Your funnybone will be rattled mightily, when you watch this very humorous send-up of idyllic life in New England
Amy Adler14 July 2008
Andy Farmer (Chevy Chase) is a sports writer for a Manhattan newspaper. But, he and his lovely wife, Elizabeth (Madolyn Smith) long for a quiet life, away from the rat race. So, when Andy pitches an idea for a novel to a major publisher and receives an advance, they quit their jobs and buy a home in rural New England. Stopping for a picnic on the way to their new home, they take photographs of cows and wax lyrical about their coming good fortune. However, once in the town of Redbud, things do not go as planned. First, the movers get lost and are so irritated and tired by the time they arrive at the Farmers' house, they pitch Andy's desk chair into a nearby pond. Then, Andy and Elizabeth's new mail carrier is a maniac who drives by their place every day, going 70 mph and flinging their mail into the yard. Huh. Andy's first attempt at fishing his own pond results in the capture of a big black snake, which wraps around Andy's shoulders, while Elizabeth digs up a coffin, complete with a corpse, in the couple's garden. From their runaway dog to the horrid dinners served at the local diner to a major writers' block that consumes Andy, will they last the winter? This wonderfully funny film is a great entertainment choice for the proverbial "bad day". The script is very humorous, with a bevy of terrific one-liners. Case in point, when the movers arrive at a rickety bridge, one of them wails that "that's not a bridge, that's a bunch of termites holding hands"! Yes, that's one phrase, but the film sports quite a few of them. The cast, mostly unknowns, are great, with the star, Chase, on top of his game and Smith complimenting him nicely. The scenery in olde New England is lovely while the costumes and other movie niceties are top-notch. George Roy Hill's direction, too, is fast and fresh. If you are searching for surefire laughs at the end of a rough day, you could hardly do better than this little flick. Although it has no grandiose aspirations, it is grand entertainment indeed.
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7/10
Sadly overlooked
LeroyBrown-218 August 2003
This movie is a wonderful comedy that unfortunately has been lump in with other films of Chevy Chase and other SNL alumni. The premise is very simple, Chase and his wife, the wonderful Madolyn Smith, are city dwellers who moved to the country where they find life to be filled with misadventure. They also find that their new town is filled with rather eccentric people and curious cuisines. The script is smarter than typical SNL alumni comedy, the cinematography and the pacing of the movie is right on the money. If there is one major shortcoming it is the casting of Chevy Chase. James Stewart in "Mr Hobbs takes a Vacation" hit the right notes for this type of character, an average man somewhat overwhelmed by his new and foreign environment, but Mr. Chase does not. It doesn't help that many of Mr. Chase's earlier characters were smart alecks surrounded by dullards. Here it's the opposite. Fans of Mr. Chase will not like this because he's not playing the character he's known for playing. Non fans will simply think a better actor who can play the average guy like Tom Hanks or Robert Hays (who was still somewhat well known at the time) would have made the movie much better.
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8/10
Classic Comedy That Shouldn't Be Missed!
kurtsky2 April 2007
My Favorite Quotes: (Please pardon some quotes are not exact, I cant remember the exact words)

Movers: That bridge (It like covered in termites) Black Man (Mover): I wouldn't go over that on a skateboard! White Guy (Mover): Have faith in the craftsmanship of our forefathers Black Man (Mover): Your Forefathers, NOT MY FOREFATHERS! White Guy (Mover): Were Going over it! Black Man (Mover): Oh Lord!

Mailman arrives ...

Andy Farmer: Those must be the movers Elizabeth Farmer : Perfect Timing Andy Farmer: (Stands In Front of the Manic Mailman trying to run Andy Over) Andy Farmer: Wo the h** was that? Who was that maniac? Elizabeth Farmer : This is mail Andy, that MANIAC was our mailman!

The Movers ask for directions the 2nd time... Black Man (Mover): Excuse me, can we have some assistance please? Man: Glad to help Black Man(Mover): Were looking for the town of Redbud Man: Well , if your going to RedBud you sure wouldn't want to start from here. Black Man (Mover): Supossing you have to.

After long set of directions.. Man: Or, you can go to the bridge to save yourself sometime. Man: I wouldn't go there If I were you.
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9/10
So funny that I irrigated my pea patch
tamimarie22829 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Andy and Elizabeth move into a house in the country to escape the city life and so that Andy can work on his novel. From the very beginning they have to deal with hilarious mishaps such as the mailman who never stops, the racing dog, the phone and the people of the town nearby.

I loved this movie because it was so funny when Andy had that big rock and he was trying to roll it into the road. Then his editor came along and tried to help but wasn't successful. The rock ended up rolling over the editor and the editors car.

The lawyers and the police officer are just a riot to watch. I especially loved the part where Andy eats the lamb fries then finds out what they really are.

I laughed so hard at this movie that I cried and my tears watered my farm for the rest of the summer.

Rent this movie!
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10/10
Hilarious! No doubt about it!
dalisash24 April 2005
Who ever says this movie isn't funny, must have a beep stuck up their beep! Come on! The mailman? He's not funny? What about the whole process of going through the dogs? The Norman Rockwell Christmas? The lamb balls? When the movers get lost and finally when they find the place, they toss the chair into the pond? I could go on, but then I'd spoil the movie. Oh, this movie is funny, it's a riot! There's also a scene when Chevy Chase's character decides to go fishing with some of the townsmen, one of other men get stuck on someone else's hook and Chevy attempts to pull the line out of the guy. He tries to knock him out to make the removal painless. The end result was, he gets tossed off the boat! This movie is so under rated, if you haven't seen this one yet. It's worth the rental. Get ready to laugh though, it's funny.
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Does nobody recognize good stuff?
zilch22 February 1999
Does nobody at all recognize good movies when they see them? Funny Farm really is a good movie with the acting, the story, everything. It's a classic from beginning to end and if anyone's opinion differs, that's their problem.
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8/10
Cue.... the deer.
conpethan16 July 2009
It had been quite a number of years since I had seen this. I just rented it again and I remember now why I had once thought it was so funny.

OK, Chevy Chase is never going to win an Oscar. And for that matter, no comedy like this is ever going to garner the respect of anyone who calls themselves a critic, real or pretend.

But I always allow myself to enjoy something even if it does not fit other people definition of 'good'. If we all didn't do that then there would not be very much variety in the world. I'm not one of the sheeple and I'm quite proud of it.

Having said that; I like this movie and I don't give a rats rear posterior if anyone else does not.

There a few scenes out there that can make me laugh as hard as when our hero decides the best way to remove a hook from the face of a fishing parter is to knock him out. Everybody in that whole town cracks me up.

And you know, Chevy does act. He is not going to bring a tear to anyones eye, he isn't that kind of actor. But he can make you cry laughing now and then.

Worth seeing. Go rent it again.
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8/10
A classic of 80's comedy
mOVIemAN5630 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Funny Farm is exactly what its title states. After Andy and Elizabeth move to Vermont from New York City, they hope for quite life while Andy works on his new career on being an author. Everything goes wrong. Their mailman is an alcoholic who throws the mail at them, their furniture gets lost along with the men driving it, and the writing career that Andy is hoping for falters.

Andy and Elizabeth need a way out and the only way to do it is to con their way out by tricking a family into buying the place. Along the way Andy and Elizabeth must confront their marriage problems that are slowly starting to develop.

The film is hilarious. Every scene with Andy results in him getting screwed, punched, or thrown in the lake. Andy is the one you look too for the comedy and Elizabeth as the set up girl. The film is meant to be more of a serious comedy but does break off into the goofy side, especially with Andy trying to stop the mailman and the whole sequence of them trying to sell the house.

Chevy Chase as Andy is perfect. He is older, which is needed for the role. A man who is smart and easy to annoy. The scene with the 'lamb fry' (sheep balls) in the restaurant had me on the floor laughing. Madolyn Smith-Osborne is pretty funny and I wish she still acted today. She is the one ultimately getting Andy angry.

This film is a true fish out of water story and doesn't disappoint. Just watch for the Norman Rockwell Christmas and the drunk mailman played by Kevin Conway.

Funny Farm. Starring: Chevy Chase, Madolyn Smith-Osborne, Kevin Conway, and Kevin O'Morrison.

4 out of 5 Stars
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9/10
Average Comedy
kenandraf7 September 2002
Average comedy movie that continues the winning formula of Chase's Vacation series but not done quite as well.The problem here is the bad screenplay.Too bad because the jokes were adequate and the story was promising.Still,this movie will be a good look see for fans of feel good comedies and big fans of Chevy Chase.....
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6/10
very funny
Jeremy (jrig24)21 July 2002
I think this is a great film that Chevy Chase did. If anyone has ever lived in a small town they can relate. The writing is great, the comedy is great, and Chevy is great. I recommend this flick to anyone that is an avid Chevy film watcher.
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