Tommy Boy

Image for Tommy Boy


Just when you thought movies couldn't get any dumber than Dumb And Dumber, American TV's Saturday Night Live team endeavour to out dumb everyone by trotting out their chubby successor to John Candy, Chris Farley, and his pipsqueak partner David Spade for another cross-country comedic trek of truly idiotic dimension.

With the current vogue for stupidity conquering all, Farley's Tommy Boy Callahan amply meets all the requirements. Both fat and stupid, he seems set for a life of beer swilling when disaster befalls dad Big Tom (Brian Dennehy) and the family business, as a result of the connivance of stepmother Bo Derek and her malevolent "son" Rob Lowe. Thus Tommy Boy has to hit the road with prissy, resentful company suit Richard (Spade) if the day is to be saved. Which leaves the not unanswerable riddle of whether a fat fool can become a supersalesman, champion of the workers, foil the baddies and find love.

Against the odds of a feeble script and uninspired direction the duo do, in fact, grow on you, and there are a smattering of silly laughs, most notably a sequence involving a large road kill stashed in the back seat. But when a comedy relies as heavily as this does on modestly endearing personality, deriving its biggest laughs from such moments as a Wayne's World-esque singalong to The Carpenters on the car radio rather than real or original gags, it's not good enough.

And even as one hears oneself chuckling at genial slobbishness, the thought is never far away that it really is a sorry comment on the film industry and audience acceptance that this - briefly number one at the US box office - passes as mainstream cinema entertainment.