Picks and Pans Review: Tommy Boy

updated 04/17/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/17/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Chris Farley, David Spade, Bo Derek, Brian Dennehy, Julie Warner, Rob Lowe

My father, a man in his seventh decade, has for almost 20 years adhered strictly to one movie-viewing rule: He avoids all films starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd or, more recently, Dana Carvey. This, he claims, has saved him countless wasted hours and brain cells.

I think that Dad might want to add Farley and Spade to his list. In Tommy Boy, these two members of the current Saturday Night Live cast fare no better—and no worse, which isn't saying much—than most of their SNL-to-celluloid predecessors. (Aykroyd, in a sort of generational passing of the torch, has a supporting role here.)

Farley and Spade head cross-country on a sales trip after Farley's father (Dennehy), a prosperous auto-parts manufacturer, keels over dead. The trip's success or failure will determine the future of the family business. Plotting to sell rather than save the company are Derek, the father's newly widowed bride, and the surly stud she passes off as her son (Lowe).

The jokes are mostly obvious and the acting shallow. In fairness, I should report that the thirtysomething gentleman sitting across from me guffawed continuously. I will not be taking him home to meet Dad. (PG-13)

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