The Great Outdoors
But the time the summer of 1988 rolled around, John Hughes had graduated from high school (so to speak) and had moved on to the ‘grown-up’ world with She’s Having a Baby and Planes, Trains & Automobiles.
For his next film, our beloved Mr. Hughes took us on a goofy little trip to Lake Potowotominimac in the Wisconsin wilderness. Welcome to The Great Outdoors.
All Chet (John Candy) wants to do is enjoy a little quality time with his family, but his obnoxious brother-in-law Roman (Dan Aykroyd) has other ideas and decides to crash the party.
And if that weren’t enough, poor Chet also has to deal with a pissed-off bald-headed bear, a gaggle of trash can-tipping raccoons, and one hell of a bit of water skiing off the back of Roman’s speedboat. So much for R&R, buddy.
And then… there’s ‘the 96er’, a steak for the ages. We’re still not sure how Chet polished that thing off, but God bless him. And his poor belt.
The Great Outdoors (which marked the film debut of Annette Bening) pulled in $41 million, enough to make it the 25th biggest film of the year.
And though it really signaled the end of serio-comic John Hughes and the beginning of Home Alone-style slapstick John Hughes, we can help but still think it’s, well… great.
We ♥ The Great Outdoors.