Poor Andy Farmer. All he wanted was some quiet time in the country to write his novel. Little did he know he’d be scarfing down a couple dozen lamb testicles, finding dead bodies in his garden, and getting his mail delivered by a mad man that made the paperboy from Better Off Dead look like a cub scout.
But that’s life in Vermont for you.
Chevy Chase has never been better (and that’s saying something) than in Funny Farm, his woefully under-appreciated flick that hit theaters in the summer of 1988. Despite being nestled snuggly between European Vacation and Christmas Vacation, the movie barely registered with audiences, finishing at #40 for the year and bringing in only about $25 million. Friends, it’s time to go back to the farm… or visit it for the first time if you’ve never had the pleasure.
The last film directed by George Roy Hill (The Sting, Butch Cassidy…), Funny Farm is just about as good as they come. Chase plays Farmer, a New York sportswriter who buys a bit of sprawling New England acreage (complete with ducks and a pond, dontcha know). His wife Elizabeth is, shall we say, reluctant about the move, and the locals don’t do very much to sway her, but even she comes around eventually.
Funny Farm captures small time life (and its effect on city folk) pretty darn well. From Andy’s debacles during the fishing contest all the way through to the finale, where he and Elizabeth have the whole town pretending to be nice, you’ll laugh until sheep balls shoot out of your nose.
And the next time you’re in town, stop by that diner; the lamb fries record still sits at 30 (that last one that he spit out didn’t count). Who knows? You might just like ’em.
We ♥ Funny Farm.