Tommy [1975]

Before his death, comedian Chris Farley made a pair of surprisingly successful comedies that teamed him with Saturday Night Live colleague David Spade. Their relationship in each film was pretty much the same, but then so was Abbott and Costello's or Laurel and Hardy's (not that Farley and Spade are in their league). In Tommy Boy, Farley plays the ne'er-do-well son of a successful auto parts manufacturer (Brian Dennehy). When Dad drops dead just after marrying a young new wife, it's up to Tommy (aided by sarcastic bean-counter Spade) to rescue the company by taking over for his father. Black Sheep features a slightly different plot: This time, Spade is hired by Farley's brother (Tim Matheson), a candidate for governor, to keep Farley (an accident-prone buffoon) out of sight until after the election. Farley has a likable quality that is exploited by continuous slapstick centered on his clumsiness, both physically and socially. --Marshall Fine

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