In the John Hughes-scripted The Great Outdoors, John Candy stars as Chet Ripley, an oafish paterfamilias who takes his family on a vacation at a lakeside resort. Their enjoyment is seriously compromised when brother-in-law Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd) shows up with his wife and kiddies. The rest of the film is an ongoing war between Ripley's carefree aggregation and Craig's obnoxiously prissy brood, and making things worse, a driving rainstorm forces both families to remain under one roof well-past their threshold of patience. Annette Bening makes her film debut as Aykroyd's ill-tempered wife.
by Hal Erickson synopsis