Chu Chu and the Philly Flash

Watch Chu Chu and the Philly Flash

"The comedy adventure of two amateur spies who weren't cut out for intelligence."
  • PG
  • 1981
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 4.2  (352)

Chu Chu and the Philly Flash is a 1981 American comedy film directed by David Lowell Rich and starring Alan Arkin, Carol Burnett, and Jack Warden. The story is about two unlikely friends, a scrappy trucker and a high society lady, who team up to help one another in their quests of finding true love and happiness. The movie opens with a scene of truck driver Chu Chu (Alan Arkin) delivering goods on his iconic pink vehicle in Philadelphia. He meets the quirky car thief, Betty (Carol Burnett), who desperately needs a ride and convinces Chu Chu to take her on as his co-driver in exchange for her boosting his reputation. Betty is streetwise and knows all the tricks to get by, while Chu Chu is somewhat naive and gullible. They make an odd couple, but their dynamic is both hilarious and heartwarming.

As they traverse around the city and beyond, Betty reveals to Chu Chu that she's in love with a criminal who's currently in jail. She wants to break him out, but has no means of doing so. Chu Chu, who's in turn in love with a waitress named Jennifer (played by Danny Aiello's wife, Sandy), agrees to help Betty out of a sense of duty to love. Meanwhile, Jennifer's father, Max (Jack Warden), is constantly pressuring her to marry a wealthy businessman and leave behind her blue-collar roots. Max disapproves of Chu Chu and doesn't think he's good enough for his daughter.

The plot thickens when Betty hatches a plan to steal Max's valuable car and sell it to a wealthy client of hers. She enlists Chu Chu to help her with the heist, but things go awry when Max and his business partner, Davis (Adam Arkin), come to suspect Chu Chu and Betty of stealing the car. Chaos ensues as Chu Chu and Betty try to clear their names, while also trying to help Betty's incarcerated lover escape from jail.

Chu Chu and the Philly Flash is a light-hearted, zany comedy that blends slapstick humor with human drama. The film's leads, Arkin and Burnett, show a great deal of chemistry and comedic timing in their roles. Arkin plays Chu Chu with a childlike innocence and vulnerability, while Burnett imbues Betty with a spunky energy and a hint of wistfulness. Jack Warden brings gravitas and charm to the role of Max, a gruff but loving father who learns to appreciate Chu Chu's strengths as the movie progresses.

The movie is set against a backdrop of Philadelphia's various neighborhoods, from its gritty industrial areas to its upscale suburbs. The film draws on the city's unique flavor and atmosphere to create a sense of place that's both familiar and exotic. The soundtrack features catchy disco and boogie-woogie songs that perfectly capture the film's playful tone.

Overall, Chu Chu and the Philly Flash is an entertaining comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously. It's a heartwarming story of two outsiders who find companionship and purpose in each other, and who defy the odds to pursue their dreams. The movie's humor is sometimes goofy and silly, but it never becomes mean-spirited or cynical. Chu Chu and the Philly Flash is the perfect feel-good movie for a lazy afternoon or a cozy night in.

Chu Chu and the Philly Flash
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.2  (352)