“Weekend at Bernie’s” | Movie Review

Weekend at Bernies (1989) 1Grade (B+)

This is one of the classics from the end of the 80’s that is as ridiculous as it is amusing.

“Weekend at Bernie’s” is one of those films from the 80’s with an absurd premise that translates into a unique and highly enjoyable, albeit brainless comedy. One that still holds up after all the years. Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman and Terry Kiser fill out the cast, and they all deliver charismatic performances.

Silverman and McCarthy are great as buddies, they have a strong rapport with one another and their differences in personalities provide plenty of laughs. They create a couple of characters you can connect with that makes you want to see the story out to the end. Their reactions to the various situations throughout the film are hilarious, as is their routine bickering with one another.

Something that makes this film the classic it is, clearly was the performance of Terry Kiser. He was fantastic as the wealthy boss and conveys perfectly and with high amounts of hilarity, all the usual stereotypes of the character.

Yes, the premise of this film is ridiculous, and the plot may not work in today’s cinema, but it was perfect for the era. The outrageous premise is what makes this film so fun. It was a fresh idea and was pulled off with enough realism, to assist in overlooking the obvious issues the story had. All these strong elements make is easy to suspend disbelief and get the most enjoyment out of the plot.

There was a swift pace to things, the story keeps it simple, and the laughs come from a variety of angles, from situational humor, to physical comedy, to straight up one-liners. All of which work in generating a ton of laughs. There were also doses of action to blend with the comedy and it all finishes with a nice balance.

This film shows that, when done properly, even the most ridiculous of premises can translate to an enjoyable film when done right. “Weekend at Bernie’s” does it right. The plot on paper is a grim one but once onscreen there is nothing but a lighthearted tone and a cast of likable characters to make this film lure your attention regardless of how implausible it all may be.

The sequel may have been a dumpster fire but this film is still a classic from the 80’s, and one of my all-time favorites to put me in a good mood when needed. It is a must for any film collector, and if you have not seen it do yourself a favor and do so. If you like wild, adventurous comedies, this is a great choice. There is a strong vibe of the era, a fun soundtrack, and most important, a cast that embraced their roles, with the fun they had in their performances translating awesome onscreen.

Time: 97 min

MPAA Rating: PG-13