The Beverly Hillbillies ~ 1993

11 Jan

beverly.jpgThis is one I save for time requiring sheer silliness with no observable traces of reality. I have to admit that it is a very predictable plot, but anything that is such an obvious spin-off of a fabulously popular television series would have a hard time being anything but derivative. Having said all that, I still chuckle thinking about a lot of the slapstick shtick used so liberally here. The storyline has been updated to make it a bit more topical, and the characters as depicted in the movie are slightly more contemporary than their counterparts in the TV series. But they are just as refreshingly corny and ordinary, and sometimes that is such an invigorating act to watch that it seems liberating somehow.

The cast is uniformly terrific; the best is easily the late Jim Varney, showing surprising range in his star-turn recreating the Jed Clampett character in the shadow of the legendary Buddy Ebsen, who so many of us baby-boomers remember as being Jed Clampett. Of course, Cloris Leachman shows why she is such a celebrated actress in her hilariously naughty portrayal of Granny, and Erika Eleniak gives a wonderfully corny interpretation of sexy but innocent Elly Mae, more interested in ?rasslin? than boys, and as quick to ?whup? those boys if they get our of line.

Also quite good is Diedrich Bader as Jethro (and also acting in drag as Jethro?s sister Jethrine, on the make and virtually unstoppable), as is Dabney Coleman as Mr. Drysdale, and a wonderful Lily Tomlin as Miss Hathaway. Of course, the villains are key in all this, and Rob Schneider and Lea Thompson spread their wings into comedic farce quite well. I save it for comic relief when I really yearn for mindless yucks, and it never fails me. C+

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Posted by on January 11, 2008 in 1993, Comedy, Reviews


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