Tommy Boy (1995)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Buddy Film, Slapstick  |   Release Date - Mar 31, 1995 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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The best of the feature film vehicles for the comedy duo of former Saturday Night Live co-stars Chris Farley and David Spade, this warm-hearted farce is occasionally hilarious in spite of its stars' limited acting ability. There's a long, hallowed tradition of teaming a "playful" large guy with a fussy, skinny cohort that harks back to at least Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy or Bud Abbott and Lou Costello; the device now even encompasses film critics: See Roger Ebert with whomever his partner du jour may be. As performers, Farley and Spade are definitely less facile than many of their legendary predecessors, but their chemistry together is just genuine enough to activate the nascent power of the cliché. In other words, they're genuinely funny together, probably because they're believable (one gets the vibe that Farley truly annoys the heck out of his quicker-witted co-star). The script by the writing team of Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner, creators of hit TV sitcoms, betrays their small-screen roots: Nothing about the story or its production at the hands of director Peter Segal is particularly cinematic. In fact, their picture feels like a feature-length pilot for a situation comedy, albeit a fairly funny one that would probably be a moderate hit as long as the same stars were maintained. Farley and Spade would reunite for the less effective Black Sheep (1996), a virtual remake of this film, and Farley would team with another thin, finicky co-star, Matthew Perry, for Almost Heroes (1998), but neither film was able to re-create the Tommy Boy magic.