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This routine comedy is about a series of misadventures during a family vacation at the beach and stars John Candy (who died of a heart attack while filming in Mexico in 1994) as John Chester and Karen Austin as his long-suffering wife Sandy. When the family leave for what turns out to be a pretty decrepit shack on a public beach, Jack eventually locks horns with the owner of this dubious piece of real estate, and their conflict terminates in a boat race in which Jack and his motley crew are at first glance, and even second, no match for the others in the race. In the meantime, there are plenty of skits with Jack dressed as anything from an ample, unintentional likeness of a geisha to the normal tourist dude in a Hawaiian shirt. His wife and daughter tackle their own problems, related to sex in one way or another, mostly another.
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Then the last 30% of the movie concentrates on challenging the jerky permanent residents of the vacation town to save the rest of the summer for Candy's family.
All around feel good movie, good to watch for a nostalgic hit on movie night.
As a way to both decompress and spend time with his family, Chester takes them to a Florida resort. Things immediately go wrong: their supposedly beautiful beach rental turns out to be a delapidated shack. Jack falls asleep and fries to a crisp in the subtropical sun. Lifeguards are clearly flirting with Chester's daughter Jennifer (Green), and strangers trek through the family "digs" on their way to the ocean. Poor Jack's nerves are worse than ever!
He becomes friends with Scully (Torn), the one-handed owner of a floating restaurant. Colorfully crusty Scully gives Jack sailing lessons, and he's an apt pupil.
After his run-in with obnoxious landlord Al Pellet (Crenna), Jack and family are ordered to vacate their crummy rental. The wealthy playboy Pellet has won the local sailing regatta for seven straight years, so in revenge Jack plays on the man's pride by telling Al he will defeat him in the upcoming race. The only catch: Jack doesn't own a boat!
"Summer Rental" is available on DVD.
ONE CRAZY SUMMER (1986) is another vacation-themed film. Here, John Cusack stars as Hoops McCann, a graduated high school basketballer who hopes to write and illustrate a book. While vacationing on Nantucket Island, Hoops has an unexpected adventure. Cast includes Demi Moore, Bobcat Goldthwait, John Matuszak, Rich Hall, Joe Flaherty, William Hickey and Rich Little. (VHS) (DVD)
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.
(5.7) Summer Rental (1985) - John Candy/Karen Austin/Kerri Green/Joey Lawrence/Aubrey Jenne/Rip Torn/Richard Crenna/John Larroquette/Richard Herd/Leigh French/Reni Santoni