Tuesday, 12 August 2008

No.15 : Weekend At Bernie’s

IMDb Link : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098627/

‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ is a high concept low laughs comedy from 1989. Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman play a couple of slackers who work at Bernie’s life insurance company and dream of the high life. When they discover a scam they report to Bernie who unknown to them is the perpetrator, in league with a clichéd version of the Mafia. Bernie plans to kill the hapless duo at his beach home, but the Mob have similar designs on Bernie, who they feel is a liability.

Bernie gets killed in short order in a throwaway scene and is found by our heroes, who realise that by pretending he’s alive they can still enjoy his hospitality and steal his watch. When they discover Bernie’s plan for their own demise, including their own faked suicide note, they have to up their game to avoid a hopeless hit man and to clear their names.

I like a bit of bad taste as much as the next pervert but even I thought this film to be a bit grubby and tasteless. Any laughs the film offers are all wringed out of the fact that one of the participants is dead. No mentions are made of self evacuations or rigor mortis, instead they get busy with corpse mutilation like stapling his wig onto his head and taking him water skiing. Add to this the fact that they are stealing all his stuff and you certainly aren’t endeared to the leads or care for their situation.

The idea that all Bernie’s hangers on don’t know or care that he’s dead as long as the champagne flows is overdone and unbelievable. Add to that the general laddish behaviour employed by the main duo such as wrecking the harbour and you just think that they’re a pair of ass holes who deserve a good slapping. A romantic subplot involving a co-worker is tacked on but it’s as believable as the rest of the nonsense.

I did quite like the hit man who kept killing Bernie only to see him resurrected the next day. It wasn’t so much funny, as laughable to see his over the top reactions and eye rubbing. Unbelievably a sequel to this mess was made, with Bernie resurrected by Voodoo magic, and I only hope I can dig up 100 ‘W’ films before I have to face that. Flogging a dead horse maybe but a dead body?

Best Bit : Lots of bikini babes to take you mind off the 'action'.

‘W’ Score : 6/23

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