The last couple of weeks in June of 1984 contain three of the worst movies of the year and thus this project. While there are still stinkers ahead, you will not be getting a run down a set of deadly rapids like Rhinestone, Conan the Destroyer, and Bachelor Party again. We will be able to navigate around some of the pitiful films of the year one at a time from here on out. There is however this last obstacle to take care of before we move into more favorable waters. Tom Hanks is lucky he had “Splash” earlier in the year, or his career could have been over with this steaming pile.
Sex comedies were a dime a dozen in the first half of the eighties. Most of them were not any good at all, and those that were usually had the least amount of sex in them. “Bachelor Party” has a great idea for a subject, and then they tossed in the first idea anyone had on the set that day to make the movie. It is hard to believe there was an actual script.Tom Hanks is usually charming and at this point in his career, he had the boyish aura that excused a lot of sins. None of that makes it into this movie. Hank’s character Rick is a school bus driver who is going to marry his upper class girlfriend Debbie, played by Tawney Kitaen. Usually with a scenario like this, the lovers are misunderstood by the reluctant parents. Their love is true and the kid from the wrong side of the tracks is a good soul that the uptight future in-laws are wrong about. That is not the case here. Everything Debbie’s father says about Rick is true. We have seen it and he makes no attempt to make himself more acceptable to them. That does not mean that the ex-boyfriend is preferable, but it does leave us with a hero who has nothing going for himself. In the end his only redeeming quality is that he did not have sex with anyone else at the party. Wow, what an accomplishment to build a romance on.
Rick’s friends are a checklist of stereotypes; the sexually avaricious buddy who thinks taking pictures of a hot mom’s boobs during her kid’s portrait sitting is fun, the animalistic primitive guy who downs beer after beer and whose main comic touch is shoving food in his mouth and then spitting it out, the nebbish pal who talks big but has so little experience that he can’t make a transvestite that even Eddie Murphy would not give a ride to, the brother unhappy in his marriage and starved for the kind of sex a single man supposedly has all the time, and not one but two dim bulb characters, one who is a suicidal drug addled soon to be divorced man, and the other one who is just stupid. Most of the stuff that is designed to pass for comedy in this film comes from these characters living up to the stereotypes that embody.
The situation get completely convoluted because three or four mix ups have to happen for something funny to come out of the party. Multiple hookers get hired and are sent to the wrong address. Random crazy people join in on the party just because they are in the hotel. The guys crash the girls party and then the girls crash the guys party. The jokes are so obvious and told in such a flat manner that they just don’t work. Most of what is trying to amuse us at the party is just loud boorish behavior that is neither fun or funny.A hooker will have sex with a donkey but the donkey has to be smuggled into the high class hotel disguised as a pair of horse costumed conventioneers. It’s one thing to make a bad joke out of something that does appear to happen in this degrading world, it’s another to make it seem like it’s something everyone at the party can’t wait to see. That includes the groom who is supposed to be our relate-able character. Would his fiance be horrified to know that this is the kind of debauchery her man approves of at a party? At least he did not have sex with the donkey himself.
I’ve been to bachelor parties with strippers and booze and roasts of the groom that were pretty wild.I planned and executed a bachelor party weekend in Las Vegas. Hookers are outside my party experience so maybe I’m naive about what goes on. This just seemed to be over the top noise from one end to the other with some vague sex scenario stuck in occasionally to be treated as a joke. I am not a prude. I laughed like crazy at the first “Hangover” movie. “Porky’s is stupid but fun. I’m a bit of a square, my own bachelor party consisted of going to see the movies “Hanger 18” and “Caddyshack” out in Westwood, but I would never want to do almost anything shown in this film.
When the girls from the bride’s party get dolled up and try to pass themselves off as hookers to crash the guys party, they of course get confused with real hookers and end up in a racially insensitive joke that makes anything in “Sixteen Candles” seem tame by comparison. The Indian pimp for the real hookers is also a little dicey from my point of view. Most of it is nonsense but if my radar is going off on these things than it is likely to be offensive to many other people because I’m not as sensitive about it as others may be.
Good natured hijinks are one thing but this movie has elements to it that are criminal in nature. One guy is literally trying to kill the groom. How is that funny? So much of this movie feels like ideas the creators threw up against the wall and let the ones with the greatest amount of ickyness stay in the film. I purchased this in a Blu ray package that has two other sex comedies in it, one of which will be the subject of a future post, and I was surprised there were any special features. It did have the original trailer so I watched it. My daughter suffered through the movie with me today and when she saw the trailer her comment was, “And that made you want to see this?” It’s a good question, and one that I’m afraid in 1984 the answer to was “Yes”. I only saw the film once, and I did not remember how bad it was until it screened on my TV this afternoon. If I’m ever temped to watch it again, I will have this blog post to come back to. It will end with these words that you might hear at the scene of a traffic accident, the cop says, “Nothing to see here, move along”.