The Great Outdoors

  • 1988
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Comedy

Scripted by the extraordinarily prolific John Hughes, directed by Howard Deutch (Hughes's collaborator on PRETTY IN PINK and SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL), and starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd, this disappointing comedy should have been much funnier given the talent of those involved. Candy, a genial Chicago auto parts salesman, takes his family to Peck's...read more

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Scripted by the extraordinarily prolific John Hughes, directed by Howard Deutch (Hughes's collaborator on PRETTY IN PINK and SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL), and starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd, this disappointing comedy should have been much funnier given the talent of those involved. Candy,

a genial Chicago auto parts salesman, takes his family to Peck's Pine Log Resort in Wisconsin so that he, like his father before him, can introduce his boys to the wonders of nature. But Candy's best-laid plans are upset by the uninvited appearance of his sister-in-law and her husband, Aykroyd, a

blustering investment consultant. A nouveau riche materialist who views the great outdoors as one big investment opportunity, Aykroyd has a very different vacation in mind from the one Candy has planned. Sadly, THE GREAT OUTDOORS is neither very funny nor insightful. The situations, gags, and

characters are all too familiar, and with good reason: Candy played a similarly unlucky vacationer in SUMMER RENTAL (1985), Aykroyd's obnoxious con man is a not-so-distant cousin of his Vic in NEIGHBORS (1980), and Hughes's screenplay for NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION (1982) took Chevy Chase and

family on holiday. However, THE GREAT OUTDOORS most nearly resembles PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES (1987), which Hughes scripted and directed. In many ways Candy, who menaced Steve Martin in that film, has simply taken over the Martin role, with Aykroyd doing Candy's part. Vacation mishaps have

replaced transportation snafus, and Candy plays a somewhat nicer guy here than Martin's self-interested businessman, but essentially this is still the story of one man who won't get out of another's hair.

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  • Released: 1988
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Scripted by the extraordinarily prolific John Hughes, directed by Howard Deutch (Hughes's collaborator on PRETTY IN PINK and SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL), and starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd, this disappointing comedy should have been much funnier given the… (more)

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