An unintentionally depressing view of family life, NATIONAL LAMPOON'S DAD'S WEEK OFF updates THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH (1957) by introducing a de-sexed hero who's too much of a bore to even conceive of an attempt at adultery. The film was made for the Showtime, and later was released to home
Workaholic salesman Jack (Henry Winkler) is ordered to take a week's rest after his minicomputer product causes an information wipeout during a sales call and stresses him out. After his wife takes the kids camping, his moronic coworker Bernie (Richard Jeni), having been given the boot by his own
wife, crashes at Jack's place, and introduces temporary bachelor Jack to a gorgeous space cadet named Cherice (Olivia d'Abo). His mind muddled by drugs meant to ease his back pain, Jack goes with Cherice to a disco, where he is attacked by her pathologically jealous ex-fiance, Chip (Justin Louis).
The following morning, Jack wakes up in Cherice's bed, not realizing that nothing sexual transpired. When Jack's conservative boss, Emmett Sharpel (Ken Pogue), insists on meeting Jack's wife, Cherice obligingly plays the part.
Forced to spend the night at Mr. Sharpel's house after Bernie causes fire damage to Jack's home, Jack and Cherice are kidnapped by a deranged Chip. Chip and his captives are taken hostage in turn by a Chinese gang to whom Chip owes a gambling debt. After a police raid on the gang hideout, the gang
members and Jack are busted. At the jail, Jack uses his minicomputer to launch a data crash in the prison computer and escapes in the ensuing panic. Jack agrees to pose as Cherice's new husband in order to help her regain custody of her baby, currently being raised by her parents. Chip exposes
Cherice's fraud, but Jack nevertheless convinces her parents that Cherice is a fit mother. His sales pitch impresses Mr. Sharpel enough to make Jack a partner. Jack's wife and kids return in blissful ignorance of Dad's wild week off.
DAD'S WEEK OFF comes from the genre of hypocritical middle-class comedies that drool about sex while genuflecting at the altar of hearth and home. That might be forgiveable if only this were even mildly funny. Written in stale burlesque fashion by Neal Israel (creator of the POLICE ACADEMY
series), this film features some of the most loathsome comic foils in recent memory. Jack's pal Bernie remorselessly invades Jack's home and nearly burns it down. New Age dimwit Cherice plays upon Jack's guilt over an imaginary infidelity, exposes him to dangerous felons, and entraps him in a
bigamous stunt, all for her benefit. And because staid Jack is "liberated" by their antics, he frustratingly fails to give both the boot-in-the-butt the audience wants to see. Flaunting the superiority of the family unit, yet featuring husbands and fathers who are inevitably irredeemably glum,
depressing sex tease flicks like this say one thing but mean another. (Violence, sexual situations, profanity, substance abuse.)
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- Released: 1997
- Rating: R
- Review: An unintentionally depressing view of family life, NATIONAL LAMPOON'S DAD'S WEEK OFF updates THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH (1957) by introducing a de-sexed hero who's too much of a bore to even conceive of an attempt at adultery. The film was made for the Showtime,… (more)