Hostage for a Day Review

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Fed up in his marriage and his job, Warren Kooey, (Wendt), fakes his own kidnapping by the KGB, with the intent of escaping to Alaska, that is until some very real Russians turn up and ruin his plan.


In John Candy’s one and only time behind the camera, it seems he thinks he would have been perfect for the role, hiring equally larger-than-life George Wendt to take the role of a business man. The story revolves around Wendt being hen-pecked at home while bored in his job and his life’s trivialities. He spends his days dreaming of ways to escape to Alaska until he comes up with a ‘foolproof’ plan. One day he fakes his own kidnapping saying the Russian have taken him hostage and off he goes in search of a quieter life.

Sadly for Wendt the Russians really do turn up and begin to make his life a whole lot more complicated than he would like. Good performance from Wendt but you can’t help thinking it’s not a million miles from his role as Norm in Cheers.

This made for TV film is the first and last film with John Candy as director, proving that he was a lot more adept in front of the camera than behind it. With a good comedic performance from Wendt but it wasn't a huge development from Norm in Cheers that he played so well.