Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)

Rating 12

Length 1Hr 37

Release 16.3.1990

About Fun-loving salesmen Richard (Jonathan Silverman) and Larry (Andrew McCarthy) are invited by their boss, Bernie (Terry Kiser), to stay the weekend at his posh beach house. Little do they know that Bernie is the perpetrator of a fraud they’ve uncovered and is arranging to have them killed. When the plan backfires and Bernie is killed instead, the buddies decide not to let a little death spoil their vacation. They pretend Bernie is still alive, leading to hijinks and corpse desecration galore.

The Good

The set up is perfect, the execution brings about many a hilarious situation that you wouldn’t believe the protagonists could find themselves in. How you can develop a narrative around a dead body and it not become tasteless, is baffling. Part of that I think is to do with Terry Kiser and his rather comical ‘death’ face.

Andrew McCarthy is the lazy, opportunistic Larry and it’s quite possibly my favourite role of his. He provides a lot of the comedy and is flawless with his Bernie interactions.

It’s pure 80s gold; from the house and decor to the outfits and it’s the side of the holiday destination we never got to see in Jaws. If only Secret Cinema would do an immersive experience of this and your warm up to the movie would be to hope from one house part to another, I would be so happy.

The Bad

  • The soundtrack is a little lacking. By which I mean there’s one great song that’s recycled throughout. This needed one or two more songs in the mix.

The Ugly

  • Jonathan is too cringe worthy as a character. He’s too uptight and too much of a shmuck. I hate that he gets the girl at the end because he’s done nothing to win her over. I’ve never really hated him before, but today while watching it I really struggled with even tolerating him.

Final Thought

This could be, and might very well be, a rather flawed movie. However, I will never care. This isn’t even a guilty pleasure, there’s no guilt to be had about loving this movie.

One thought on “Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)”

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