Larger Than Life

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  • PG
  • 1996
  • 1 hr 32 min
  • 5.6  (7,773)
  • 43

Larger Than Life is a 1996 American comedy film directed by Howard Franklin and starring Bill Murray, Matthew McConaughey, and Jerry Adler. The movie tells the story of Jack Corcoran (Murray), a motivational speaker who discovers he has inherited a circus elephant named Vera after his estranged father's death. Jack sets out on a cross-country journey to deliver the pachyderm to a zoo in Reno, Nevada, where he will be cared for better, but the trip is riddled with challenges and obstacles.

The film opens with Jack giving a lackluster motivational speech to an apathetic crowd. He then learns of his father's passing and his bizarre bequest. Unwilling to accept such a responsibility, Jack plans to sell the elephant immediately, but no one is willing to buy her. Instead, he decides to drive Vera cross-country from her current home in Connecticut to the zoo in Reno. Accompanied by his business partner, Mo (McConaughey), the duo begins to realize the enormity of their own undertaking.

The journey starts off on a rocky note when the truck they rented to transport Vera breaks down almost immediately. They are rescued by a group of Amish farmers who offer to help them make the journey with a horse-drawn wagon. Along the way, Jack and Mo encounter various characters, including shady animal traders, a stranded female hitchhiker, and even a family of circus performers. The interactions they have with these characters add humor, suspense, and heart to the narrative.

During the road trip, Jack attempts to bond with Vera, who is initially stubborn and unresponsive. However, as they spend more time together, Jack realizes that the elephant may have been his father's way of expressing love for his son. Jack also learns that the important things in life are not always found in monetary gains or success, but instead in relationships and experiences.

Throughout the film, Bill Murray delivers his signature deadpan humor, punctuating every scene with his hilarious one-liners and witty observations. His chemistry with McConaughey, who plays his hapless sidekick, is also well-executed. McConaughey's character brings a level of sincerity and earnestness to the film, which offsets Murray's sarcasm and creates a good balance between the two actors.

Jerry Adler, who plays the circus owner, is another standout in the movie. Although he only appears in a few scenes, he leaves a lasting impression on the audience with his portrayal of a man devoted to his animals and his craft.

The elephant itself is also a star in this movie. The film features many gorgeous shots of Vera and all her magnificence, and the visual effects team deserves credit for bringing her to life. The filmmakers are able to capture the majestic beauty of the elephant while also highlighting the double-edged sword of animal captivity.

Larger Than Life is a feel-good movie with a heartwarming message. It encourages audiences to look beyond their own selfish desires and instead focus on the bigger picture. Although the premise of the movie is unlikely, the filmmakers are able to create a believable and entertaining film. The combination of Murray's humor and McConaughey's sincerity make for a delightful watch, and even the most skeptical viewer will find themselves rooting for Jack and his elephant.

Larger Than Life is a 1996 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 32 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.6 and a MetaScore of 43.

Larger Than Life
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 32 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.6  (7,773)
  • Metascore