Review: The Last Laugh, Netflix

Maybe Chevy Chase should just skip Januarys. Last January he appeared at the Eventim Apollo with Mike Read in a car crash of a live show. This January he appears in a road movie which, while not quite a total Duke of Edinburgh level rollover, in hardly a film to get the star's career back on track. 

The Last Laugh finds Chase playing a veteran showbiz agent who decides, after a visit to an old people's home, that he is not quite ready for the knacker's yard yet. At the home he meets Buddy (Richard Dreyfuss) a retired podiatrist who turns out to have briefly been a stand-up comic fifty years ago. He was just about to get his big TV break but didn't turn up and instead pursued a career as foot doctor to the stars. An apt job for such a corny plot.

Al decides to take Buddy on the road one more time and finally make him a star and get him that break half a century after he should have made it. What follows is a caper by numbers. You can almost play cliché bingo as they go through the motions. Bad gigs taking on hecklers? Hassle with the police when Al tries to score some weed? Unlikely subplot of Al having a romance with Andie MacDowell? Final, sentimental showdown?

These hackneyed moments that you can see coming a mile off would be OK if only they came with some charm, but The Last Laugh, directed by Greg Pritikin, is so thin it seems to miss the mark all the way through, There isn't much in the way of onscreen chemistry between the stars. They are just about OK doing light comedy but when the script hits its inevitable sentimental marks it starts to career off the road, finishing with a fairly shoddy finale (and if you stick around for the credits there's an even shoddier finale with Al posing as a life mode)l.

Netflix recently seems to be attempting to tap into the geriatric market with The Kominsky Method (which covers similar ground but is smarter) and  the Jane Fonda/Lily Tomlin comedy Grace And Frankie. I'm not too impressed with these Growing Old Disgracefully comedies so far. On the plus side maybe that means I'm too young for them.

Watch The Last Laugh on Netflix now.

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