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Review of Funny Farm (1988)

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Funny Farm remains somewhat of a forgotten 80's Chevy Chase flick, mainly due to its odd mix of slapstick comedy and straight-faced approach to marital problems. It also belongs to that beloved Yuppies-out-of-their-element sub-genre that also includes The Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Romancing The Stone, and countless others. Today, we would refer to the woes depicted in these movies as "First World Problems."

So Andy and Elizabeth are your typical Yuppie couple who move out to the country so Andy can focus on writing his novel. Classic Chevy Chase bits abound (more like Chevy Chaplin!), such as hitting his nuts on a door knob, fishing a huge snake out of a pond, or attempting to knock a guy out to remove the fishing hook from his neck. The timing of the bits along with Chevy's signature aloof reactions really remind us what a great talent he once was.

But then in the third act, the film takes a serious turn when the Farmer's relationship deteriorates causing Elizabeth to want a divorce. Now this could have been played up for comedic effect (see The Money Pit), but instead it goes to a dark place that almost cancels all the laughs earned in the first half.

Luckily the final act brings things back to focus, as the townsfolk all come together to help sell the Farmer home to another typical Yuppie couple. The lengths they go to sell the house (in hopes of earning some cash) including an Xmas Winter Wonderland makes for a rewarding finale.

While Funny Farm is definitely not up there on the list of Chevy Chase classics (i.e., Christmas Vacation, Three Amigos, Spies Like Us, Fletch, etc) it still offers some great signature gags that we love the man for, and for that I think it's worth checking out.
Added by djprojexion
2 years ago on 7 December 2015 15:34

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