I don't know what in the world is wrong with comedy film producers, I mean we have punks like Chris Rock making fun of Chevy Chase but if you are a connoisseur of the film genre of comedy you will know that Chris Rock cannot hold a candle to Chevy Chase for sheer comedic timing and wit.
Chevy Chase should have been a mega-star. I love Chevy Chase and I am not afraid to say it, and what's more I don't even need therapy for it 8 -) (he was of course commanding a rumoured $7m dollars per movie in the 80s, but he just sort of died down in the 90s)
This is the story of Irwin Fletcher, casually named "Fletch", a comedic interpretation of the novel by Gregory McDonald. You may have read Irwin's column under the heading of "Jane Doe", hey it pays the alimony (Well actually he doesn't but it's good to pretend he does).
Fletch is working a case on the beaches of Santa Monica, Fat Sam (`Cheer's' Norm) never leaves the beach, but somehow he always seems to have a steady flurry of drugs to sell to the bums and deadbeats who inhabit the rundown beach area. Whilst working on this story Alan Stanwyk (Tim Matheson) offers Fletch a proposition. He wants the beach loner (as Stanwyk sees him) to murder him in his own home, for a respectable fee of $50,000. Stanwyk has a bone cancer and is dying. He wants to save his family the anguish of watching him fade away, his insurance will pay out handsomely for a death from a suspected break-in. Hence the extremities of his demise, suicide means the insurance won't pay out.
However, Fletch looks into the background of his proposed victim, and discovers all is not as Mr Stanwyk claims, and perhaps he has more than one family, ironically the two cases he is working on may be in some way connected. As far as the drugs on the beach are concerned, Fletch finally discovers how Stanwyk may be connected to the supplier.
There are some truly amazing quick witted lines along the way, very much in the style of "Beverley Hills Cop", however "Fletch" far outshines BHP. Even if it wasn't quite as successful; many great films get missed along the way. Fletch is definitely one of them. His gallery of characters are inimitable. This was a relatively successful film, but simply seems to fade away these days.
Chevy Chase and (one time rumoured romantic liaison) Geena Davis, (who makes a wonderful cameo as reporter sidekick "Larry") make a great cast list including Tim Matheson, George Wendt, Joe Don Baker, M. Emmett Walsh, a great dream-sequence cameo from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Basketball great of `The Lakers' in the 80s) and I now know why I am with the partner of choice that I am, because I was in love with the actress who plays Stanwyk's wife , Gail (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson) and my partner looks just like her. Ha!
Fletch is marvellous, you will smile, you will laugh louder and you will feel you really enjoyed a great film. It is one you will watch again and again.
Look out too for some great mistakes in the film, like when Fletch and Stanwyk are talking under the boardwalk and leave the beach, Stanwyk is wearing a suit jacket, tie and shirt, but is wearing jeans. Moments later in the next shot and at the house he is wearing suit trousers.
Also in the hospital when he is in the records room with the nurse, Fletch has a stethoscope on his ears, quick shot later they are around his neck, quick shot later back on his ears. Also if you're extremely clever, near the end when Fletch turns on the gas canister - he is actually turning it off, the switch runs perpendicular to the pipe. Gotta love it for movie buffs!
(also available in a double pack with "Fletch Lives" not as great a film as the first here, but well worth watching too).
There's a long ill-fated prequel "in production" 'Fletch Won' too, but let's not hold our breath to see if it transpires