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ONE OF THE LATE GREAT JOHN CANDY'S FUNNIEST FILMS
on 20 July 2008
If you have wondered why they don't seem to make this genre of movies anymore, then the passing of John Candy is probably the biggest reason why. There are very few actors who can drive the kind of slapstick comedy film we used to get in the 80's and early 90's. Steve Martin, Bill Murray & Chevy Chase are about the only truly great comic actors I can think of (Eddie Murphy should be there, but he too often lets himself down by his own massive ego).
For me John Candy was the finest of the bunch, and is deserving of the highest of accolades.
One of his finest moments was trading comedy blows with Steve Martin in 'Planes Trains & Automobiles'. But for me it was the discovery of this little gem that certified my love of John Candy. The film sets up Candy as the fall guy, and it leaves him in situations where he is constantly getting the short end of the stick.
He gets hideously sun burned after falling asleep on the sun lounger, within the first few hours of arriving, thus having to spend the next few days of his holiday avoiding the sun, holed up in a kids paddling pool in the shade.
He also annoys the boating community when he accuses one of the residents of stealing his dinner. The phrase "YOU STOLE MY LOBSTER!" will forever draw a smile across my face. One of the films strengths is it's subtlety, unlike 'The Great Outdoors' it doesn't rely on huge bear attacks and slapstick water skiing, but instead relies upon the great comic ability of it's suffering star.
My only grip is that the end of the film does surrender the comedy for a grander Hollywood style closer, and that it also looks very much a film from the 80's (e.g. Big Hair and Bad Clothes). But this remains one of my favourite John Candy films.