Favorite Movie Moments: Summer Rental

Looking back on movie history, it’s fun to spot moments here and there where moments that aren’t considered monumental still turned out to be memorable in a number of ways. John Candy is still considered one of the funniest comedians of his time, and Rip Torn was equally hilarious in this film since his role as Scully was meant to be that of a weary old restaurant owner as well as a worthy mentor of Candy. character. The fate of the Chester family begins with Jack’s breakdown at work as an air traffic controller, as he is a guy who has worked for years with no real break and is considered a little too anxious and nervous being given that he almost causes a mid-air collision and nearly collapses when not recognizing that he has a fly on his monitor. Jack has the option of taking five weeks paid vacation or being fired for this outburst, so he packs up with his family and heads to Florida.

the movie tone and Jack’s life takes place at the start of the film, even before he gets to work when he’s cracking an egg that his children have cooked for him for breakfast. The first egg is fine, if fun, but the second is raw because the kids forgot to boil it. Once at work, he gets boxed in by another car and has to fight his way out, adding to the already growing sense that his life is built on trouble that continues to grow every day. After being discharged, he and his family travel to Citrus Grove, Florida, where they find a nicer house than theirs, but turns out to be the wrong house when the owners show up. When they find the rental house, the Chesters discover that the rental house is some kind of dump that is about to collapse and is right next to a beach, which means people feel free to walk beside the house all day.

Things continue on a downward spiral of sorts as Jack finds it nearly impossible to fully relax as he hurts his leg boating with his son, thus forcing him to stay home and not spending so much time with his family. Add to that a next-door neighbor who asks everyone to tell him if her fake boobs look real, to the debacle that continues to develop when Jack and his family run into a wealthy local named Al in a restaurant, and we have a recipe for a comedy that feeds on misery with the hope of a reward. Jack’s story is one that a person can’t help but associate with at one point or another because he’s so unlucky it’s funny even though you can’t help but wonder what they would do under the same circumstances. Some people might claim that they would react in different ways and maybe find a new way of looking at things.

But the way things play out in this movie is hilarious as John Candy and Rip Torn were a great couple, as Jack and Scully became drinking buddies, then sailing buddies as Jack finally found his groove through at Scully, and even combined what he had learned as an air traffic controller with the lessons Scully gave him about sailing. This comes in handy when Al, who is a champion sailboat captain, buys the rental house the Chesters are staying in after the owner dies. When Al finds out Jack is renting the house, he threatens to evict him, at which point Jack challenges Al to a race, which sounds silly, but ends up being another big part of the movie as it pays off on the promise that life would be better for the Chesters. The way forward was difficult as they transformed an old dilapidated ship that served as a restaurant into a sailboat capable of winning a major race once renovated and stripped of extra ballast. Of course, Jack’s pants added a bit more veil that was needed to give that final push.

Great memories aren’t created just by great movies that were blockbusters and were considered exceptional in their time. Some of the best memories are created by movies that didn’t really go anywhere but were always fun to watch because they weren’t meant to be taken seriously and delivered in many ways that great movies don’t always consider. Just because a movie didn’t become a hit in its time doesn’t mean it’s not a notable memory worth keeping.

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