tek's rating: ¼

The Great Outdoors (PG)
IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Universal; Wikipedia

Okay, I guess this came out in 1988, but I'm not sure when I first saw it. Probably caught it on TV or something, sometime in the 90s. I think. Anyway, I remember not being that into it, probably thought it was just sort of okay. But I always kind of wanted to see it again, just to write a review. (Well, and because there was a girl I thought was cute.) I didn't really remember anything much about the plot, except that it starred Dan Aykroyd and John Candy, whose characters (and their families) went on a vacation together to a cabin by a lake. Oh, and I remembered the guy in one scene who talked about having been hit by lightning. Anyway, in 2013 I got a double feature DVD of this, that also includes Uncle Buck (another 80s movie I must have first seen in the 90s, which also starred Candy).

So... now that I've watched it, here's what I can say: Candy plays a guy named Chet Ripley, who's married to a woman named Connie. And I guess Connie has a sister named Kate (Annette Bening), who's married to Aykroyd's character, Roman Craig. Chet and Connie went to the cabin with their teenage son, Buck (I can't help finding it interesting that Candy's character had a son with that name) and younger son, Ben. I guess Chet's dad had taken him to that lake when he was a kid (and Chet and Connie had gone there on their honeymoon maybe?), and now Chet wanted to make memories with his kids like he had with his own dad. But quite unexpectedly, Roman and Kate showed up with their young twin daughters, Cara and Mara. Roman is basically a yuppie-type character, who works in investments, or whatever, and he and Kate have more expensive tastes than Chet and Connie. So some of the movie's comedy comes from the clash of Chet and Roman's personalities. Of course, some of the comedy comes from Aykroyd and Candy doing the kind of things they do. Meanwhile, there's a subplot about Buck meeting a local girl named Cammie, and having a little summer romance with her.

And... I don't really know what else to say about the plot. The movie was a bit funnier than I remembered, but still, it was just sort of okay. Just like I thought. There's a bit of something vaguely akin to drama, on top of the comedy, and something vaguely like quirkiness, but still I think I'll call it a comedy. The movie's mostly forgettable, but not bad. I guess.

Oh yeah, and periodically there are brief scenes of raccoons getting into the trash cans at the cabin, with subtitles of what they're saying to each other. I wanted to mention that there's an extra scene of the raccoons after the closing credits.


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