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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 27, 2004
Director/writer John Hughes is one of those Hollywood success stories who has left in his wake a heap of popular and often entertaining films, leaving an indelible stamp on motion picture history. He may not have won a ton of awards, but the regular folks (as opposed to film snobs) love his work and have made him a very wealthy man. A list of his better known films would have to start with "Home Alone" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and would continue with "The Breakfast Club," "Pretty in Pink," "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles," and "Sixteen Candles," as well as many others.

This particular John Hughes film stars John Candy as Uncle Buck, the kind of character Candy specialized in. He's a middle-aged kid who can't seem to find a good reason to accept any responsibility in life. As he says in one scene, "People used to say to me, 'Buck, you've got it made. You've got no kids, no wife, no office, no desk, no boss, nothing to tie you down. You've really got it made.' Well, they don't say that to me any more."

Among Hughes's "coming of age" pictures, this one is unique. The coming of age is usually a teen or preteen. Here's it's Uncle Buck who is coming of age. His brother and sister-in-law have to leave town for a few days to tend his brother's ailing father-in-law, and they are absolutely devoid of babysitters...except for Uncle Buck, the embarrassing relation they have chosen to avoid until now. Their three kids include 15-year-old Tia (Jean Louisa Kelly, now seen on TV's "Yes, Dear," in her film debut), 8-year-old Miles (Macaulay Culkin, his first major film role and the one that inspired Hughes to give him his next major role in a little something called "Home Alone"), and 6-year-old Gaby Hoffman (shortly before she played the child lead in "Sleepless in Seattle").

You can practically write the film yourself from there, to a point. Buck has to be responsible for the kids, falls in love with them, is a far better (and much, much funnier) surrogate dad than anyone could have guessed, and by film's end things have all changed for the better. Sure, it's a little too much of a happy Hollywood ending to be true (OK, way much too much), but one doesn't expect Shakespeare here, just good, solid, entertaining comedy with a heart. That's typical John Hughes, and since he gives us so many good laughs we forgive him if it doesn't always completely ring true. "Uncle Buck" may be underrated among Hughes's films, but it's well worth remembering.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2004
I miss John Candy. He was one of my favorite comedic actors in the '80s. Some of my favorite movies stars John Candy like "The Great Outdoors" and "Spaceballs". "Uncle Buck" is another hilarious movie John starred in. He plays a happy-go-lucky bachelor named Buck who is a bit of a slob and not very responsible either. He gets a call from his brother in Chicago asking him to babysit his children while he and his wife go take care of his wife's father who had fallen ill. Buck agrees and goes to his brother's house, not knowing what was in store for him. Buck has to contend with two precocious children (one of them played by then unknown Macaulay Culkin)and one angst-riddled teenager named Tia. Tia gives Buck a run for his money with her teenage angst. This leads to a lot of conflict between the two especially when it concerned Tia's boyfriend. The two younger siblings Maisy and Miles are simply a handful and enjoys Buck's company. I particularly loved the scene when Buck is making pancakes and flips an enormous pancake with a shovel. Another hilarious moment is when the nosy neighbor played by the hysterically funny Laurie Metcalfe meets Uncle Buck. "Uncle Buck" is a good mix of comedy and a little drama (towards the end of the film). I thought John Candy put in one of his best performances ever with "Uncle Buck".
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
John Candy has his BEST performance EVER in this film by John Hughes. "Uncle" Buck Russell (Candy) is a perpetual screw-up who HAS to get his act together enough to watch over his older brother's three kids & dog, Tia, Miles, Maisy and puppy, Parsey since his sister-in-law's father had a heart attack.
The cast includes Mac Culkin as Miles, Gaby Hoffman as Maisy, Amy Madigan as Buck's girlfriend, Chanice Kobolowski, & Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne's sister, Jackie) as the crazy neighbor lady, Marcie Dahlgren-Frost. Also billed in small parts are Anna Chlumsky (My Girl), Patricia Arquette, and Devon Odessa (My So-Called Life).
This film is totally hilarious but also has those wonderful John Candy touching/sentimental moments.
A wonderful family film that can be watched over and over again!
Happy Watching!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2005
Uncle Buck is Da man. John Candy is perfect as Buck Russel, the irresponsible misfit of his family. The late John Candy's comic timing and execution of his jokes are perfect and he gives the best performance of his career in this wonderful movie.

Called to watch three children during a family emergency, Buck wants to prove to his girlfriend he can be responsible. As a guardian, he clashes with Tia, the rebellious teenage daughter and bonds with two smaller kids who can't get enough of the loveable lout. Look for a great Macaulay Culkin and the girl from Sleepless in Seattle as the younger kids Buck takes care of. Candy has great chemistry with the smaller kids. Also look for Laurie Metcalf from Roseanne in a hilarious cameo as a wacky neighbor.

While Buck has trouble in the beginning, he soon starts handling business. Great scenes include him making huge pancakes for Mac's birthday party, punching out a drunken clown, taking on a nasty school principal, and embarrassing Tia's punk boyfriend Bug. (The scene at the party with the power drill on the bedroom door is great, but the hatchet scene is a classic!) By the end of the movie Uncle Buck is Da man proving he's responsible and showing his girl a new side of him.

The acting in this movie is top notch and Hughes direction is solid. I love the cinematography; Hughes makes some beautiful pictures to tell his great story. I love the shot of the car driving away from the high school! I see this film as the one where Hughes transitioned from angst filled teen movies to slapstick filled comedies like "Home Alone". An early scene in this movie no doubt inspired John Hughes' 1990 masterpiece "Home Alone", Where Buck leaves the kids "Home Alone". Buy this movie cause you will not be disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2002
I found that this movie managed to "slip in" tenderness and integrity cloaked in poop jokes and John Candy's trademark silliness. There is a moment (don't want to spoil it for you) when John Candy gets a simple piece of evidence about how much his family discounts and dislikes him that, to anyone who has experienced any kind of estrangement or divorce, can rip you up before you even know what is happening. It passes quickly though and the movie's essential mode returns with straight up "Self absorbed bachelor meets cute and manipulating youngsters" jokes and gags. I personally love John Candy's work and thought it a crime that he left the world so young. I would place this in the same emotional impact category as "Say Anything" which had a wonderfully silly side but some strong roots in everyday/every family problems and resolution. Delightful all the way around.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2005
This is funny stuff. I've heard some critics bag this because of it's shallow silliness but that's what gives Candy his laughs.

John Candy belongs in movies like this. "Summer Rental" and "The great Outdoors" are others where his comedy rocks. I think directors know Candy's talents shine where family issues with kids are involved. Uncle Buck is John Candy's best film. I love his no shockers bouncing car with an on time BANG upon stopping.

Heartfelt moments melded with great laughs make this essential to all Candy fans
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2008
"Uncle Buck" was released when I was roughly 11 years old. Since that time, I have probably seen the movie 25-30 times and never get tired of the comedic genious that was John Candy and the fabulous story-teller that is John Hughes. Simply put, this film delivers!

Buck is a bit of a screwup. He has no job, no wife, no kids. But, he enjoys life. He bowls, has a girlfriend of 8 years, loves golf and makes his living on tips he gets on horses. Things are going as usual, until he gets a call from his brother late on night, asking that Buck come over to watch his kids, while him and his wife attend to her sick father. Buck jumps at the opportunity and the hilarity begins.

This is truly one of the best comedies of the 90's, as John Candy simply delivers one of his best performances. The cast also includes a pre "Home Alone" Makauly Caulkin(I have no idea how to spell his name) and the ever great Laurie Metcalf("Roseanne"). I'm not typically a big fan of comedies that have a heavy child prescence, but this one is really funny. John Candy works on screen so well with kids that I'm really amazed. I mean, it's difficult for actors to "time" or get comedic routines to be funny when they are both adults, but when you have to do it with a kid, it's even tougher, yer Caulkin and Candy are GREAT!

This is really a must-watch film if you've never seen it and I'll even say it's a must-buy film; because, you will watch it over and over and over!

Oh yeah, and being from Chicago, I love the shots of the city. As usual, Hughes focuses on the areas people actual live in, rather than the downtown(business) areas where most directors concentrate simply because you can see the Sears Tower and the EL in the background. There's so much more to Chicago and it's a treat to see on film.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 22, 2003
Candy was either hilarious in a movie or terribly miscast. "Uncle Buck" is an example of perfect casting and absolutely hilarious delivery by the portly actor.
As the unflappable Uncle to three kids he's almost never seen, Candy makes his Uncle Buck a sympathetic, lovable dolt who seems to bring misery onto himself and dole out mischevious lessons as well.
The eldest child doesn't want anything to do with this babysitting uncle who rains on her parade. The little tykes (including Macauley Culkin in one of his first - and finest - performances) love Uncle Buck. When Candy visits one child's school for a conference with the vice principal, I defy you to not cry laughing! When Buck brings in the family cat and gets a visit from the neighbor while doing laundry, you'll need Depends to contain yourself!
John Hughes knows how to write and direct funny stuff. This is Hughes and Candy at their best.
Buy, rent, or borrow this film!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2001
In this cheerful, lightweight comedy, excruciatingly clumsy, disorganized, and messy Uncle Buck Russell (John Candy) becomes the screens most unlikely babysitter since Clifton Webb in Sitting Pretty. While their parents are away, eight-year old Miles (Macaulay Culkin), six-year old Maizy (Gaby Hoffman) and their teen-aged sister, Tia (Jean Kelly) are left in the care of Buck. Surprisingly, the very inept Uncle Buck entertains the younger children who come to love him and earns the respect of Tia when he rescues her from her worthless boyfriend. However, in doing so, Buck nearly loses his long-time girlfriend Chanice (Amy Madigan). John Candy is delightful in the leading role giving a touching and notable comic performance. Directed by John Hughes in his typical broad style, this youth-oriented comedy is perhaps the best role of John Candy's regrettably brief career.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2002
John Candy is Uncle Buck. Directed by John Hughes this movie is anything but boring. Buck's sister in law just found out that her father who lives out of town just had a heart attack. Desperately needing a baby sitter for their three young kids, (one of which is Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone), they turn to Buck, a party going guy, who at the age of 40 is still un-employed, un-married and un-knowing in the art of raising children. But "no problem" he thinks...."kids are easy". Wrong, what he finds is a house full of responsibility with a rebellious teen to take care of as well as her younger brother and sister. Meanwhile his girlfriend keeps more pressure on him about the two of them getting married, despite the fact that Buck just doesn't want to settle down. Uncle Buck is a classic comedy thats just plain fun to watch so don't miss it.
I give this movie only 4 stars despite its appeal to me due to the fact that I give only movies that overly hilarious from beginning to end a 5 star rating. Uncle Buck though does have a few parts that are without comic relief, but that doesn't stop the story or that particular part of the movie from being entertaining. Its still a great family comedy classic.
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