Come along for the ride

But pack some En­sure be­cause this charm­ing se­nior buddy flick could use a lit­tle pep.

Los Angeles Times - - AT THE MOVIES - By Katie Walsh Walsh is a Tri­bune News Ser­vice film critic. cal­en­[email protected]­

Greg Pri­tikin’s light buddy com­edy “The Last Laugh” may share a ti­tle with the 1924 F.W. Mur­nau film, and while both films pon­der ex­is­ten­tial ques­tions, Pri­tikin’s movie isn’t nearly as bleak.

The gen­tle romp brings to­gether two beloved stars of the 1970s — Chevy Chase and Richard Drey­fuss — as se­niors on a road trip tak­ing one last stab at stand-up com­edy star­dom. An ex­ceed­ingly mild af­fair, “The Last Laugh” re­lies might­ily on Drey­fuss’ warm charm to keep the jour­ney rolling.

Chase plays Al Hart, a talent man­ager who will not go gen­tly into that good night. De­spite his grand­daugh­ter’s urg­ing, he is reluctant to move into a se­nior com­mu­nity or to give up his beloved ca­reer. It’s not un­til he runs into one of his old co­me­dian clients, Buddy Green (Drey­fuss), that he de­cides to give se­nior liv­ing a shot.

Buddy was about to make it big on “The Tonight Show” at the be­gin­ning of his ca­reer when he de­cided to give up the mike for a com­fort­able life as a Bev­erly Hills po­di­a­trist.

Ever the man­ager, Al is de­ter­mined to make it hap­pen for Buddy now. They bust out of as­sisted liv­ing and hit the high­way bound for New York.

The road movie is ob­vi­ously the genre that sky­rock­eted Chase to su­per­star­dom with the “Va­ca­tion” fran­chise, and this trip is rife with the kinds of clichés that be­devil films like the John Tra­volta ve­hi­cles “Wild Hogs” and “Old Dogs.”

Ca­sual drug use? Check. Babes way out of their league? Check. Andie MacDow­ell, thank you for your ser­vice.

But Drey­fuss brings an easy au­then­tic­ity to the role, es­pe­cially while per­form­ing Buddy’s sets in clubs around the coun­try. The film bur­bles along pleas­antly, if a bit sleep­ily — the pace is rick­ety at best. It rarely breaks for­mula, and while the genre is ser­vice­ably ex­e­cuted, it’s not ex­actly a thrill.

Kate Micucci and Chris Par­nell are sad­dled with the rather thank­less roles of the nag­ging prog­eny, and the film hardly gives them a chance to shine.

Drey­fuss and Chase are given a few mo­ments to ex­press the poignancy of their char­ac­ters’ emo­tional jour­neys. Buddy would rather risk it all than re­gret that he never played a comic’s big­gest stage, while Al, a man who lived to work, is just try­ing to fig­ure out how to live with­out it.

Get­ting older doesn’t have to mean be­ing in­fan­tilized or pan­dered to with old-timey tunes and magic tricks. Buddy’s rather self­con­sciously corny act is clas­sic, old-fash­ioned Catskillsstyle stand-up with a mod­ern sen­si­bil­ity.

While “The Last Laugh” could use a bit more pep in its step, Drey­fuss is a winning pres­ence, prov­ing he might even be get­ting bet­ter with age.

Patti Per­ret Netf lix

RICHARD DREY­FUSS, left, Andie MacDow­ell and Chevy Chase star in the ami­able “The Last Laugh.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.