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Comedy Movies - Weekend At Bernie's

BUY Weekend At Bernie's (dvd cover)
Terry Kiser, Andrew McCarthy, Don Calfa, Catherine Mary Stuart
Directed by Ted Kotcheff
MGM Home Video

Weekend at Bernie's is still funny years after its original release. Directed by Ted Kotcheff (who also directed Joshua Then and Now, First Blood, and North Dallas Forty), the film is carefully crafted to let the comedy speak for itself without a heavy-handed approach. Kotcheff simply permits the situation to unfold and the cast of characters to deliver the course of events flawlessly.

After uncovering what appears to be a million dollar plus fraud against the insurance company they're working for, Richard (Jonathan Silverman) and Larry (Andrew McCarthy), two hopelessly socially awkward twenty-somethings, decide to report their findings to the company's president, Bernie Lomax (Terry Kiser), in the hopes of finally being noticed and having their careers move upwards. Bernie's reaction is to invite the boys to his Hamptons beach home as a, well, final reward. The hit man pops Bernie instead and Richard and Larry first decide to act as if nothing happened and then realize they are safe as long as people believe Bernie is alive.

What makes this a great, absolutely brilliant comedy that will make you laugh out loud every time you watch it is Terry Kiser as Bernie. Yes, his acting is a little stiff in this one but he buries the competition without saying a single word. His expression never changes once during the entire movie and although you know they sometimes used a dummy for the water skiing scene and a stunt double for the pratfalls you still wonder how he manages to be so funny. Kiser even makes you wonder until almost the very end if Bernie really is dead.

There is so much dark humour in this movie it is impossible to list all the adventures Bernie's corpse has with his two young employees. There is a brilliant scene where his mistress has the intimate encounter of her life with the very stiff Lomax. Kotcheff's decision to have everybody play the movie as straight as possible is another key to the success of this comedy.

The ace in the hole in Weekend at Bernie's is the performance of Don Calfa the hit man who aces his victim repeatedly in many different ways.

This is one of those movies you buy and watch again and again because you know it is going to make you laugh each and every time.

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