This comedy from the same director that brought us My Cousin Vinny is
certainly a bit of a buried treasure. A well-cast, surprisingly
effervescent production that has a good number of genuine laughs. Kirk
Douglas is an aging millionaire, whose immediate family is comprised of
a loathsome greedy horde of bloodsuckers who spend their time in
outrageously sycophantic displays while trying to undercut their
competition. Their plans hit a snag with the arrival of sexy pizza
delivery girl Olivia D'abo who stays on as Douglas' caretaker. To
attempt to ameliorate her influence, the clan seeks out Douglas'
favorite estranged nephew - a down-on-his-luck bowler played by Michael
J. Fox, who does his best to rise above the shenanigans, but finds
himself drawn ever further into the melee.
If the film has a major weakness, it is that once the family unites to draw Fox into the game, the entire group of them (including Hartman, Jere Burns, Colleen Camp, etc.) suddenly operate as one mind rather than continuing to undermine each other. It would have been far more intriguing to see each specific relative continue with schemes of their own. Otherwise, the film is a lot of fun. Douglas is hilarious as the millionaire, who knows all too well what the family is doing and always seems one step ahead of their foolishness. Phil Hartman is a deadpan delight as the primary golddigger, who spends his time disparaging his relatives to Douglas with acid backhanded "compliments". Director Jonathan Lynn is acerbically funny as the put-upon butler and D'abo is suitably sexy as the wild card in the mix. The usually capable Nancy Travis is stuck with a largely humorless role as Fox's well-meaning girlfriend and the voice of reason in the film. Truthfully, her character could have been omitted or combined with the D'abo character without any deleterious impact. Fox himself has rarely been better outside of the Back to the Future franchise. This is one of his most appealing and consistently amusing performances. I would also be remiss in not mentioning his pleasantly surprising extended nude scene. I mean, WOW! Who knew? Sharp-eyed viewers will figure out the ending, but it does not make it any less satisfying. A film comedy that definitely needs to be rediscovered and re-evaluated by a new crop of viewers. They will definitely be rewarded.
Uncle Joe is ageing. He's also a millionaire. That's why his family is trying so very hard to get into his good books. They all want a piece of his empire. Unfortunately Uncle Joe isn't as stupid as his family thinks he is. He can see that his family is only nice to him because they want his money. Along comes Daniel McTeague, a struggling bowler, imported from another city by his family, to put an end to this ridiculous situation. The fight won't be easy, though, because the poor family has a little bit of competition - A beautiful nurse who takes care of Uncle Joe (and no doubt would love to take care of his bank account). Who gets all the money?
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