The Last Laugh

Al Hart (Chevy Chase) is a retired showbiz manager touring the local senior living facilities with his granddaughter and frankly, he’s just not feeling it. He’s not ready for death’s waiting room. So when his retirement home tour guide happens to be his first client, Buddy Green (Richard Dreyfuss), it seems kind of fortuitous. Buddy is a stand-up comedian who quit the business 50 years ago, just as he was about to break on Johnny Carson. He went into podiatry instead. But with nothing to lose, and nothing better to do, the two concoct a scheme to hit the road and work the comedy club circuit to see if they can mount a comeback that’s been 50 years in the making.

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The jokes are as old as the stars delivering them. The formula’s as stale as the butterscotch candies in their pockets. But Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss prove the point their characters are trying to make: there’s still some gas left in the tank. Chase is charming in a doddering kind of way, but Dreyfuss still has that killer zing. If Buddy’s stand-up isn’t exactly fresh, Dreyfuss at least delivers it with some salty panache. They’re the ones who sell the material. And since neither has had a notable starring role in a film this century, it’s kind of nice to see some friendly, if wrinkly, faces.

Still, no one’s going to mistake this for a great movie. It’s on the forgettable side even while you’re watching it, so if memory’s the first thing to go, we’re in trouble. But if you’re looking for some “easy watching” and you don’t mind an oldies station, this movie is the perfect antidote to loud, explody, VFX-heavy blockbusters. Plus it’s got Andie MacDowell, Chris Parnell, and Lewis Black in small doses, so you can’t go wrong exactly, you just wish for more right. But I guess past a certain age, we all take what we can get.

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11 thoughts on “The Last Laugh

  1. Invisibly Me

    “…so if memory’s the first thing to go, we’re in trouble.” I shouldn’t have laughed so much at that! I quite like Chevvy Chase, ever since watching Community I thought he was more likeable. Not alway too keen on Andie MacDowell but I can see how this flick could be reasonable for background noise and easy watching.xx

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  2. Liz A.

    Some of my favorite movies star Chevy Chase (not the ones you’re thinking, though). If he’s difficult to work with, that would explain why he hasn’t been doing much of late.

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. J.

    Watched the trailer for this at the weekend and assumed it would be very much the movie you reviewed. Maybe if I’m stuck for something to watch… though with a few interesting things appearing on Netflix over the next few weeks, I can’t see that happening soon. Still, I do like Richard Dreyfuss and I’m pleased he still has that wee something special about him… so… y’know… maybe I’ll give it a go.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Chris

    I hate to be Debbie Downer, but I saw the trailer for this and it gave me instant diarrhea. I can’t watch these has-beens doddering and dithering with moldy material and … well, I just can’t. Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Cathy Kennedy

    Thanks for sharing this review. I just noticed this movie on Netflix last night & I instantly added it to my Watch List because of the stars in this feature. Maybe we can catch it the evening for a bit of light-hearted fun. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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