Summer Catch: Weekend at Bernie's
A lot of different genres find themselves with summer releases, but this time of the year has become synonymous with big budget action movies and ridiculous comedies. We believe that summer should be full of fun movies, so we’re looking back at some older ones that are perfect for a summer watch. We’re starting with none other than the 1989 comedy Weekend at Bernie’s. The film was written by Robert Klane and directed by Ted Kotcheff. This offbeat comedy follows two young insurance corporation employees who discover their boss, Bernie, dead at his beach house. The film stars Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman as the two low-level insurance employees. The rest of the cast includes Terry Kiser, Catherine Mary Stewart, Don Calfa, Catherine Parks, and Eloise Broady. While the film received mixed reviews, it was financially successful at the time and has since become a bit of a cult classic.
So, what makes this movie perfect for a summer watch?
Clueless, Lovable Leads
The lead characters determine a lot about a film, and this ridiculous comedy follows two characters who are generally clueless but enjoyable to watch. Richard and Larry barely recognize the false insurance settlements, and it never once occurs to them that their boss might be behind the fraud. They travel to his beach house without any questions or suspicions, and it even takes them a little too long to realize that Bernie is actually dead. From there, they take far too long to realize the original plan was for them to be killed, and they incorrectly subdue several innocent people in their attempt to stop a real murderer.
They have no idea what’s going on for most of the movie, but their crazy plans and general demeanor make them an oblivious but lovable pair.
A Truly Ridiculous Premise
I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during the meeting where the writer explained that the whole premise and running joke of the film revolves around a dead guy. It is a risky move, and it generates a movie with a wholly ridiculous premise. It is beyond believable that numerous people wouldn’t notice their host was dead for an entire weekend, yet the movie somehow makes it work. It is so stupid that it’s funny, and it leans into the wacky comedy trends of the 80’s. Ultimately, it ends up being the epitome of hilarious, goofball comedy, which makes it a perfect candidate for a fun summer movie.
A Familiar Setting
The film might be taking place in New York City and then on Hampton Island, but the important part is that it’s taking place in the perfect season. The film starts with Richard and Larry being miserable in the unbearably hot summer season. Asphalt is melting. They feel like they are melting, and all they want is to escape to the beach during this scorching heat. If that is not relatable, I honestly don’t know what is.
Of course, their opportunity to go to the beach doesn’t quite go as planned, but regardless, we all understand wanting to escape during a hot, Labor Day weekend.
So, have you ever seen the ridiculous comedy that is Weekend At Bernie’s? What else would you add to your summer watch list?
Comment, and let us know! And stay tuned next week for another fun movie to catch during this last leg of summer.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.