Watch The Great Outdoors

"The wildlife is wild, but his brother-in-law in unbearable."

“The Great Outdoors” is a slapstick comedy starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd. The film was written and directed by John Hughes. Candy plays Chet Ripley, a common man who just wants to take his family to a lake resort in Wisconsin. The destination is important to Chet because it was the same lake that he used to vacation at as a youngster. The Ripley clan consists of Chet, his wife Connie and their two sons Buck and Ben.

Chet’s idea of an unobtrusive getaway is foiled with Connie’s wealthy sister, Kate Craig, shows up unannounced with her own family. Aykroyd plays the overbearing yuppie brother in law, Roman. The Craig’s also bring their twin daughters who remain silent and creepy during the trip.

Despite the interruption the Ripley’s agree to let Kate and her family stay at their rustic cabin. Chet tries to have fun but Roman seems to enjoy agitating him at every turn. Buck is the only one having a decent vacation when he meets and starts a romance with an attractive local waitress, Cammie.

The two families have adventures with multiple activities, all usually ending with some type of aggravation or injury for Chet. They ride go-carts, go fishing, ride horses and ride speedboats. One memorable scene in the film is when the two families go out to eat at a steak house. Roman convinces Chet to accept a food challenge and eat a 96 ounce steak in order to have their meals for free. Chet completes the challenge but not without a lot of suffering.

The two families continue to butt heads and an argument ensues when Roman attempts to get the Ripley’s to invest in a get rich scheme. It’s later revealed that Roman was lying about the investment and just needed the funds because his family was going broke.

The film’s climax is when the families have to band together to save the twins during a massive thunderstorm.

| 1988 | 1 hr 31 min | 6.6/10 | 24/100
Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Stephanie Faracy, Annette Bening
June 17, 1988
Howard Deutch

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