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  • Funny Farm
    • Funny Farm
    • Runtime:101 min
    • Release Date:2014-08-30 16:10:55
    • Director: George Roy Hill
    • Genres: Comedy
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Funny Farm
Auhtor:

   

I'm a huge fan of certain Chevy Chase movies like Vacation, Fletch,
Spies Like Us, Three Amigos, even Caddyshack. While he's pretty much
the same Chevy in Funny Farm and very funny in deed at times, the whole
movie just didn't work out for me.

Funny Farm is somewhat more restrained, wry and maybe even boring
compared to other Chevy Chase movies. There's nothing really wrong with
the movie (unless maybe the last act is a bit of an u-turn), everything
works as should, direction is quite tight. It's quite difficult to say
what's wrong, even tho it's a lot of fun, it lacks the warmth and
engagement of most Chevy Chase movies. I really see this primarily as a
Chevy Chase movie.

While the leading lady did a pretty good job acting the part, I never
thought she really fit the role. She just didn't have the Beverly
D'Angelo kind of warmth I expected. I didn't feel the connection
between Chevy and her wife. Also the lack of children made the movie
seem a bit serious, even tho it had all the elements of a family
comedy.

George Roy Hill did a great job portraying the dry humour in Slap Shot,
one of my all time favourite movies. To my mind his dryish humour
worked much better in the bleak and wintery scenes of factory towns
rather than beautiful Vermont. And don't get me wrong, the scenery and
set deco are really nice to look at.

Good pastime, but I don't see myself returning to this title for some
time.

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This Chevy Chase film had potential to be a really funny movie.
Unfortunately, poor choices for moving the story along doom this one to
being an unmemorable mediocre comedy. Still, there are some laughs to
be had in this film about a couple who move to the country with rather
disastrous results. Most of the more funny scenes though occur at the
beginning of the film, as the film progresses though it becomes more
and more bland. Chevy's character is a writer who once he arrives in
the country develops a rather bad case of writer's block. This
initially interesting and led to a funny scene involving a singing
bird. However, this is also what ends up shooting the film down in
flames as this leads to a dispute between Chevy's character and his
wife. A very unfunny set of scenes that set the movie into even less
funny scenes as they decide to sell their newly acquired home. Still,
the scene involving the couple going to the restaurant, the scene
involving them trying to get a dog and the scene about the fishing trip
are funny and make the movie rise to a bit higher level before the
second half of the movie sort of crashes the movie down.

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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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