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Blast from the Past Movie Review – “Dutch” (1991)

November 6, 2011

October through December is truly booming with a cluster of holiday spirit, we’ve just completed Halloween, now onward to Thanksgiving! I thought I thought I’d take a look back at some Thanksgiving themed movies for the month of November part of the Blast from the Past Movie Reviews. Today, lets take a look back at 1 of 2 Thanksgiving-set films brought to us by the late great Chicago loved John Hughes. “Dutch”.

In the late 80’s to mid 90’s, comic actor Ed O’Neil was widely popular thanks to his sitcom “Married with Children”. He can play a snooty, pompous, jackass like a pro. So, it’s only natural that Hollywood would let him do so on the big screen for an hour and a half. In “Dutch”, O’Neil plays the title character, a regular Joe, who’s girlfriends spoiled brat son, Doyle (Ethan Embry), refuses to come home for Thanksgiving to meet Dutch and Mom. Dutch volunteers to personally Doyle home, so he can have the opportunity to bond. But, as you could imagine trouble ensues between the two after the cross certain obstacles getting home.

The movie borrows elements from Hughes’ comic classic, “Planes Trains & Automobiles”, two polar opposites are forced to travel together, and some how form a bond near the last act of the film. With “Planes”, the movie had some class to it’s craziness, but with “Dutch” it’s become juvenile and cold hearted. Some gags here and there are funny, but there’s too much mean spirited character for the movies own good.

I think Ed O’Neil is funny; he’s had some memorable characters in the past, he’s hilarious on ABC’s “Modern Family”, so I enjoy the movie for the reason that he’s good at what he does, playing mean guys who turn out to be such classic wisecrackers. I think its Ethan Embry that doesn’t do it for me in this movie. The kid goes to lengths by causing an 18-wheeler crash on the freeway just to get attention. Doyle is the kind of person that would take the side of a lying prostitute thief over Dutch…who’s also a liar at times. Ok, so you see what I’m getting at?

There’s still some funny qualities about the movie, there’s some kind of dynamic chemistry between Doyle & Dutch, it may not work for some, but it’s a guilty pleasure nonetheless. Had John Hughes directed this movie, instead of solely writing the screenplay, I’m sure there could’ve been some significant changes that would’ve made the movie less cold hearted. It’s not my favorite Holiday movie, but it’s a guilty pleasure that I can watch and just go with it.

GRADE: C+

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