Checking Out (1988)

Sub-Genres - Black Comedy  |   Release Date - Apr 21, 1989 (USA)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Synopsis by Paul Brenner

Jeff Daniels stars in this tedious situation comedy concerning the middle-aged terror of illness and mortality. Scripted by Joe Eszterhas, Daniels plays Southern Californian Ray Macklin, who thinks he will live forever but realizes the fallacy of his idea when his best friend drops dead in front of him after issuing the set-up to the old joke, "Why don't Italians like barbecues?" (Which begs the question, "Why can't Joe Eszterhas write funny scripts?" The answer: "He did. Showgirls.") Anyway, after that shock trauma, Macklin becomes convinced that he is set to suffer the same fate and, as a result, becomes a raving hypochondriac. As Macklin continually clutches his chest and checks his heart monitor, he sinks himself deeper and deeper into the mindset that he is doomed, even though his tests turn out fine. All of this comes to a head in a bizarre dream sequence in which Macklin imagines Heaven as a Hawaiian resort populated by extras from a Federico Fellini picture. At that point, he wills himself to return to consciousness after surgery to remove his appendix.



boss [employer], childhood-friend, friendship, grief, heart-attack, hypochondriac, paranoia