Weekend At Bernie’s Is One Of The Most Underrated 80s Comedies

A low-budget Hindi movie inspired Weekend at Bernie’s.

Weekend at Bernie’s, the classic comedy movie, was released on this day in 1989 called. Directed by Ted Kotcheff, the movie follows the story of two young workers, Larry Wilson (played by Andrew McCarthy) and Richard Parker (played by Jonathan Silverman), who find their boss, Bernie Lomax (played by Terry Kiser), dead at his beach house. In a twist of fate, they pretend Bernie is still alive, resulting in a series of hilarious misadventures. Over thirty-four years later, we can look back on this cult classic and analyze what makes it so appealing.

Although the premise of “Weekend at Bernie’s” is undoubtedly ridiculous, as two guys drag around a dead body and use it as a prop in various situations to deceive others, the film transforms this dark concept into a lighthearted comedy filled with slapstick humor and clever situational gags. The chemistry between McCarthy and Silverman is evident, and their comedic timing adds to the movie’s overall charm.

The film embraces its absurd premise and never takes itself too seriously, resulting in laughter from the sheer audacity of the character’s actions. The physical comedy, witty dialogue, and clever visual gags create a delightful blend of humor that still holds up today. Another factor contributing to the continuing popularity of “Weekend at Bernie’s” is its picturesque setting. Set against the backdrop of a luxurious beach house and the vibrant energy of summer, the film captures the essence of a carefree vacation. The sunny atmosphere and the characters’ desire to enjoy themselves contrast with the morbid task they’ve taken on, adding depth to the story.

Terry Kiser’s portrayal of Bernie Lomax is unforgettable.

Although Bernie is technically dead, Kiser’s physicality and facial expressions infuse the character with a surprising amount of life. Even in death, Bernie manages to steal scenes with exaggerated gestures, making him an unforgettable comedic presence. Kiser’s commitment to the role elevates the film beyond its premise and enhances its enjoyment. Despite its lightheartedness, “Weekend at Bernie’s” raises ethical questions, as the central characters manipulate Bernie’s corpse for personal gain. While the movie doesn’t delve deeply into the implications of their actions, it does provoke thought about the boundaries of comedy and how far one can go for personal gain. It’s worth considering whether a similar film would receive the same reception in today’s cultural climate.

This film has become a cult classic that is still underrated to this day.

It gained a dedicated fanbase and inspired countless parodies and references in popular culture. It may not be a critically acclaimed masterpiece, but it has earned its place in the annals of comedy cinema. Whether you’re a longtime fan or discovering “Weekend at Bernie’s” for the first time, the film’s unique blend of comedy and unconventional storytelling will leave an impression. So grab your sunglasses, find a spot on the beach, and let the antics of the perpetually “alive” Bernie Lomax transport you to a world where the absurd becomes the source of endless entertainment.

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Sean Tajipour is the Founder and Editor of Nerdtropolis and the host of the Moviegoers Society Podcast. He is also a member of the Critics Choice Association. You can follow on Twitter and Instagram @Seantaj.

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