Weekend at Bernie’s (1989) [review]

The joy of this film is that it doesn’t take itself seriously, it’s a fun ride of a comedy of a simple idea about two losers; Larry Wilson (Andrew McCarthy) and Richard Parker (Jonathan Silverman), who stumble across a situation at work which leads them to spending the weekend at their boss Bernie’s (Terry Kiser) beach house for the weekend.

One which leads to Bernie dying and nobody knowing exactly what is going on, causing people to run around the island trying to figure out what is going on with Bernie, Larry and Richard. Especially Richard and Larry trying to understand why Bernie is dead, who and why anybody would want him out of the way, while realising that keeping up the appearance of Bernie being alive is their only hope off getting the island alive.

This is not a film of high intelligence, nor does it care to be more than a fun situation… which is part of what makes this a joy to watch. We see Paulie (Don Calfa) running around the island, knowing that’s he’s done his job, but cannot escape the fact that Bernie’s is still turning up in different places which he cannot explain. Which in turn leads Larry and Richard having to keep themselves on the move, even if they are not completely sure who it is they are trying to avoid.

This has a great summer fun feel to it, which lends itself to being something which I have usually watched in warmer seasons. No matter the amount of times I have seen this, it is still entertaining after all these years after its release in 1989. You don’t have to think too much about what is going on, while you enjoy all the characters as they fumble through a situation.

Some may find the subject matter morbid for a comedy, but this is not a film of blood and gore, but one which is not a prude about dealing with death. This film does not over think the fact that this deals with one of the characters being dead for the majority of the film. It may seem somewhat disrespectful to some more sensitive types. But this is a comedy which does not try to be offencive about the idea of death, but plays with the morals of those involved. Richard is the straight man who finds himself with Larry, a man who is more relaxed & laidback about the situation they find themselves.

This is a film which is pretty tame by what is being produced today. Maybe if the film was made in current times, it would go further than the ideas we see here. This film is aiming to make you laugh than disgust you.

This also has the very enjoyable soundtrack by Andy Summers which adds to the fun of this film.

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