Weekend At Bernie’s

movie poster
Official Movie Poster

The Movie

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Weekend at Bernie’s was released in 1989 and directed by Ted Kotcheff.

The movie is loosely based on the 1959 novel “The TwDeaths of Quincas Wateryell” It was a commercial success and generated a box office income of $30 million on a budget of $15 million.

The film’s plot circles around two employees, Larry Wilcox (McCarthy) and Richard Parker (Silverman) working at a New York financial firm. They discover insurance payouts to the same person and decide to report their findings to Bernie (Kiser) in person. Little did they know, but Lomax was involved. Their boss then promptly invited them to his Summer holiday home. Lomax then arranged a meeting with his mob partner, Vito (Giambalvo), asking him to kill Larry and Richard.

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It was agreed that the two would be murdered at Bernie’s holiday house, but when Bernie left, Vito ordered his assassin to rather take out Bernie for being too careless. When Lomax arrives at his holiday mansion, he prepares to set up the assassination but ends up being killed himself. Soon after, Larry and Richard arrive just to find Bernie’s body.

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While trying to figure out what they should do, Bernie’s neighbors and friends start to arrive and seem oblivious to the fact that he’s dead. The day develops into a chaotic comedy as the two drag Bernie’s body around trying to get off the holiday island, fooling people that Bernie is still alive.

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The Cast

  • Andrew McCarthy as Larry Wilson
  • Jonathan Silverman as Richard Parker
  • Terry Kiser as Bernie Lomax
  • Catherine Mary Stewart as Gwen Saunders
  • Don Calfa as Paulie
  • Catherine Parks as Tina
  • Eloise Broady as Tawny
  • Greg Salata as Marty
  • Louis Giambalvo as Vito
  • Ted Kotcheff as Mr. Parker
  • Jason Woliner as Bratty Kid

Conclusion

Weekend at Bernie’s is arguably one of the best comedies of 1989 and a highlight of 80s films. Initially, critics trashed the film. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone magazine noted about the film:

 “tasteless” and “crude” and felt that in the end it was impossible to “drag one tired joke around for nearly two hours. Like Bernie, the movie ends up dead on its feet.”

However, like many movies from the eighties, it grew more popular over time, with Entertainment Weekly writing the film:

 “aged into something close to respectability”.

Regardless, the movie is witty and funny and remains one of the most memorable films of the era. It spawned a sequel, Weekend at Bernie’s II in 1993.

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The movie has become a cult classic due to its absurd but hilarious premise and the relationship between the two lead actors. McCarthy and Silverman have great comedic timing and bounce off each other’s energy, delivering one-liners and physical comedy that keeps the audience engaged throughout the movie.

The supporting cast, including Catherine Mary Stewart as Gwen Saunders and Don Calfa as Paulie the hitman, also add to the comedic value of the film. The movie’s pacing is well done, with a mix of slapstick humor, witty banter, and absurd situations that keep the audience entertained.

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Overall, Weekend at Bernie’s is a fun, lighthearted comedy that has stood the test of time. It’s a great choice for anyone looking for a good laugh and a bit of escapism from the real world.

The Movie Trailer

Reference

Weekend at Bernie’s – Wikipedia