WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S
I was born in the 1970s. I know, kids, that makes me ancient. I remember a time when television had three channels, and comedy movies actually had jokes in them.
That’s not the case with Weekend at Bernie’s.
Weekend at Bernie’s is pretty easy to summarize. Two young accountants notice that someone is stealing from their company. They bring what they found to their boss, Bernie, who invites them to his beach house as a reward.
Only, it turns out that Bernie was the one stealing the money the whole time and he’s going to kill them. But Bernie was in with some bad dudes, and they kill him first. When the boys show up they think that Bernie was murdered in their place and before they can think of what to do, a party breaks out, and everything thinks that Bernie is still alive.
As I mentioned, this movie doesn’t feature jokes. It’s all based on one gag: the premise that people don’t know Bernie is dead. All the comedic bits are hung on that premise. This leads to some absurd situations and some hilarious ones.
This movie harkens back to some of the great slapstick comedies of yesteryear. It certainly has more in common with Buster Keaton than it does Adam Sandler.
But you have to buy into the premise of the movie. The entire thing falls apart if you don’t suspend disbelief and accept that people wouldn’t be able to tell Bernie is dead. I was certainly able to do that because the movie kept me laughing. Comedy is a great salve (much better than drama), and it can work its magic to get us to accept a great many things.
It’s a comedy movie, and those can be hard to review. If it’s bad, there are only so many ways to say “it wasn’t funny” and if it’s good, there are only so many ways to say, “it’s very funny.”
Don’t come for the plot (although there is a bit of one) or big character moments, or to learn something about the nature of humanity. Come to laugh. That’s what this movie does; it makes you laugh.
That’s good enough for me.