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Bachelor Party (1984), Neal Israel, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Friday, January 28th, 2005

No, I’d never seen this before. And I was amazed at how actually funny this was. And what’s more important, I think, is how it actually had a philosophy. Unlike, say, “Meet the Parents” (a similar film) this movie wants to impart its world view, an arguement in favor of anti-authority and mild anarchy. I say mild because never in the film is there ever any doubt that our hero will do anything too terrible — he just wants to dance around like an idiot and watch his other friends sleep with prostitutes. Also, and, no, I am not kidding, Tawny Kitaen gives a marvelously nuanced performance as the fiancee. Her basic purpose, yes, is to look hot (well, 80s hot) but she treads a very thin and realistic line of being both annoyed and amused by Tom Hanks’ pranks. The look she gives is “this man is an moron yet, for some reason, I am deeply in love with him.” I must also comment about actor Gary Grossman in the role of “Gary,” the rock ticket salesman who looks like Bun E. Carlos’ Jewish brother. Was Harold Ramis busy that week? If anyone has seen any of his other films, I’d like to know. Plus, there is a donkey on Quaaludes, so what more could you want?

2 Comments »

  1. One glaring problem with this movie. Tom Hanks’ character really is an asshole, and she shouldn’t marry him. Look at his friends. A mechanic who appears to be mildly retarded and violent, a slick ladies man … whose job is to take pictures of babies at Sears, Hanks’ brother whose a filandering dentist, a nebbish ticket scalper and a waiter. He drives a fucking school bus.

    Forget his friends — he personally is an asshole. Best example: when he plays tennis doubles at his soon-to-be rich father-in-law’s spread … hitting every ball that comes his way over the fence, baseball style and then launching into announcer home-run banter. If this were happening in real life, you’d think the guy was a total jerk-off. Ditto the non-stop bad jokes in conversation that would fall like rotted trees in real life.

    She marries this guy, and two years later, she’s sick of this asshole and divorced.

    And every teen comedy from the late 70s to early 80s had that built-in anti-authority streak, courtesy of Animal House. It was just a given — and just about always misguided. Porky’s was the worst of it — which I found hysterical at the time, but now when I see it … christ, I wish I could say I must have been high, but I wasn’t.

    That said, Bachelor Party does deserve a B for being a solid blow-off comedy. I think the stoned donkey swung the vote.

    Comment by Bill R. — January 30, 2005 @ 9:10 am

  2. Maybe it is that the anti-authority thing is missing in today’s comedies. Meet the Parents (haven’t seen Fockers yet) is all about a dude who is trying best he can to be accepted by authority. Where’s the fun in that?

    I agree that Hanks’ character is a dick in life — but that’s why movies are there — to present a point of view in fantasy that is unnaceptable in reality.

    Now here comes the shocker — I have never seen Porky’s. I know, I know. Remember, when Porky’s and Bachelor Party and even Fast Times came out I was too young to go by myself & my parents kept a pretty sharp eye on what videos were rented. We were (literally) the first family on the block to have a VCR (I wonder if Dad still keeps that giant silver cyborg in the attic?) but we were late to cable. When I reached the age when I could watch what I wanted I was already by then on the snooty side — for comedy I would watch Monty Python & Woody Allen and I snubbed “low” comedy like Porky’s. (“Caddyshack” made the cut, if you wer wondering.)

    Bachelor Party is fascinating because some of the jokes actually are funny, it isn’t only the attitude.

    Comment by Jordan — January 30, 2005 @ 5:41 pm

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