I recently watched Weekend at Bernie’s for the first time since I was a kid for two reasons. One, it was the 30th Anniversary this year. And, two, I wanted to see if I still liked it as an adult. Yes, I laughed at certain parts. But you can enjoy something while recognizing how utterly stupid it is. And this is a very stupid movie.
Richard (Jonathan Silverman) and Larry (Andrew McCarthy) are co-workers at an insurance company. They discover a scam going on and report it to their boss, Bernie (Terry Kiser). Little do they know that Bernie is behind the insurance swindling. He asks his mafia buddy, Vito, to kill his employees that weekend at his beach house. But instead, Vito orders his hitman, Paulie, to whack Bernie. Not a good idea to screw a mob boss’ girlfriend, Bern. Cut to Richard and Larry showing up at Bernie’s house and finding him dead. What does a sensible person do? Fools, there are no sensible people in this movie! Instead of going to the cops, the guys pretend that Bernie is alive so they can still hang at his beach house. Hijinks ensue.
For the rest of the movie, Larry and Richard bumble around with Bernie’s body. There’s Bernie hanging at the cocktail party, being taken away by the tide, and even waterskiing. He’s also “killed” again. And again. Paulie really is the dumbest hitman of them all. And let’s not even talk about Bernie’s girlfriend having sex with his corpse. For 30 minutes. No words.
The good things about Bernie’s? Well, Silverman and McCarthy make for a good comedy duo. Any other actors would have made this a more painful experience. But these two are likeable and they seem to be having a good time. Their characters are idiots, but they’re nice idiots. Lister is also well cast. Even though he spends 90% of the movie just being thrown around or falling over things, he excels at it. I have to give points to Bernie’s beach house too. It’s the 80s-ist house there ever was on film. Crazy colors, enormous couches, and glass block walls. It really is a character itself. The title character, if you think about it.
So, this movie doesn’t hold up so well. Not that it had much to work with. But it’s still kinda fun. Also, what’s more absurd than Weekend at Bernie’s? The fact that there was a Weekend at Bernie’s 2!