Chris Farley had huge potential in the world of comedy back in 1995. His huge girth and explosive energy had him pegged as the heir to John Belushi. His time on Saturday Night Live had allowed him to perfect his persona of the excitable dumb slacker. He even had a Dan Aykroyd-esque comic buddy in the guise of David Spade. He was ready to make the jump from the tiny TV to a massive silver screen that fully capture his husky physique. Tommy Boy: Holy Schnike Edition gives a complete view of what happened when this force of nature became a movie star.
Instead of Farley adapting SNL sketch characters into a feature length adventure, Tommy Boy is an original concept using his familiar traits. Farley is Tommy, the son of Big Tom Callahan (Brian Dennehy). Dad owns an auto supply company and wants his kid to take over the business. Tommy thinks hes slated to get a job on the loading dock since its taken him seven years to graduate from Marquette with a D- in his final class. Hes a goofball. Hes blown away when dad gives him an office and executive title. The smug Richard (David Spade) isnt amused at being assigned as Tommys babysitter.
Dad has treated himself to a new wife played by Bo Derek. She comes out of the pool and we flashback 15 years to her beach moments in 10 minus the braided hair. She comes with a little baggage in the form of her son (Rob Lowe). Tommy is overjoyed at getting a new mommy and a stepbrother. Theres something fishy about the mother and son. After a major family emergency, Tommy must save the company. He has to hit the road with Richard to find buyers for their new brake pads otherwise the business will go to hell. The duo have strange adventures on the road that include a not quite dead deer. Tommy has to learn how to be a salesman because hes got friends back at the plant counting on him to keep them employed.
Whats unique about Tommy Boy is that it sings the praises of people working in a factory. This is not one of those movies where the hero must rise above punching the clock and manufacturing product for the man on the assembly line. It reminds us that there is a purpose for buying American made items instead of going cheap with junk made across the borders. That jobs should matter in this country. This element gives a real heart to Tommy Boy which is why it isnt as forgettable as dozen of other comedies with SNL alumni.
Tommy Boy represents the pinnacle of Chris Farleys movie career. They repackaged the formula in Black Sheep in an attempt to make Farley and Spade the new Martin & Lewis. Neither of them had Dean Martins voice or charm. Both of them were Jerry Lewis in different weight classes. Black Sheep was a pale imitation of Tommy Boy. The coroner declared that like Belushi, Farley died from partying too hard at the end of 1997. But could any man survive the humiliation of making Beverly Hills Ninja and Almost Heroes? That was the bitter end that ushered the once promising Farley to the grave. Tommy Boy was such a promising start to an imploding talent. That sentiment can also be expressed for David Spade.
â€¨The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The 1080p high definition transfer shows off the cherry nature of David Spades car before it gets destroyed. Bo Dereks pool moment glistens in this visual upgrade. The audio is Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The sound brings out the sexy quality of Farleys voice when he sings about being a “fat man in a little coat.” The French dub is Dolby Digital 2.0. The Spanish dub is Dolby Digital 5.1. The subtitles are in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
A Commentary Track features director Peter Segal. Hes rather eloquent in his stories from the film. He declares that working with Farley was his mission.
Tommy Boy: Behind the Laughter (29:08) is an extremely well done documentary that covers all the elements of the film with the living major players contributing. They shot a majority of the film while Saturday Night Live was in production. They kept coming up with more jokes while Spade and Farley were in New York City on the weekends. Theres vintage footage of Farleys antics on the set. Director Pete Segal looks like a John Landis impersonator on the set.
Stories From the Side of the Road (13:31) explores how they came up with various ways to wreck the car. The evolution of “Fat Guy in a Little Coat” gets covered. The outtakes and raw footage illustrate how comedy can evolve on the set. Did you know they had a goat play a deer?
Just the Two of Us (9:46) deals with Spade and Farleys relationship. Lot of footage of them goofing on location lets us know they enjoyed riffing. Spade gives great tales about how Farleys energy came from various coffees. If only hed been a java junky, Farley would be alive today.
Growing Up Farley (7:29) has Chriss siblings John and Kevin chat away about their younger days with Chris. Turns out their brother had a bit of a temper for a fun loving guy. It doesnt turn sad.
Storyboard Comparisons (13:54) demonstrates how the pre-production drawings matched up to the final footage. This is a good little lesson for any kid thinking of going to film school. Various scenes get the split screen action.
Deleted Scenes (6:43) has six axed sequences. Director Segal introduces the snips. He thinks a few should have been left in the film. Farleys mayhem in the parking lot is completely unnecessary. The torching of a dog really needed to be extinguished.
Extended Scenes (22:19) provides early cuts of 15 moments. Editing is a good thing.
Alternate Takes (4:18) gives different versions of 6 scenes. Mostly its about watching Farley switching up his physical comedy. Theres a bit of exposed pool swimming.
Gag Reel (4:16) lets us know that David Spade saw little Chris Farley. Farley has plenty of nasty flubs.
Photo Gallery features dozens of production and promotional pictures from the film.
TV Spots (7:37) has 19 different commercials. Thats an insane amount of highlighting various moments in the film. They really pushed the movie.
Theatrical Trailer (2:28) pimps Bo Derek coming out of the swimming pool.
Tommy Boy: Holy Schnike Edition on Blu-ray is a celebration of Chris Farleys sole cinematic triumph. The bonus features (presented in standard definition) allow us to see how special he was before he snuffed himself. They brought over all the stuff that was featured on Holy Schnike DVD version Tommy Boy also represents the only decent film starring David Spade.
Paramount Home Video presents Tommy Boy: Holy Schnike Edition – Blu-ray. Directed by Peter Segal. Starring Chris Farley, David Spade, Rob Lowe, Brian Dennehy, Dan Aykroyd and Bo Derek. Written by Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner. Running time: 97 minutes. Rated PG-13. Released on DVD: December 16, 2008. Available at Amazon.
Tags: David Spade, John Belushi