Tommy Boy (1995)

tommy boy poster 1995 movie david spade chris farley
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Farley and Spade are a good combo

Weak script

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Tommy Boy

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  March 31, 1995

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Those Callahan boys know how to get down!

Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) has just graduated college and looks forward to a future at Callahan Auto Parts working with his father “Big Tom” Callahan (Brian Dennehy).  When he arrives home he finds his father engaged to a woman named Beverly (Bo Derek), a future new step-brother named Paul (Rob Lowe), and a renewed relationship with a former classmate named Michelle (Julie Warner), Tommy’s new life seems to be going great.  Tragedy strikes however, and Tommy finds himself on the road with Richard Hayden (David Spade) in a desperate attempt to save Callahan Auto Parts before it is too late!

Directed by Peter Segal, Tommy Boy didn’t have the best reception from critics.  Despite mediocre reviews, the movie became a big box office draw and a big seller on video with a strong presence on cable TV.  The movie was Chris Farley’s first lead as an actor and became a cult hit.  Rob Lowe also appears in the film in an uncredited role because he was committed to The Stand at the time of filming.


Hey, he’s a maniac…and he’s dancing like he’s never danced before!

Tommy Boy is one of those brainless comedies that I’m ok with.  Much in the same vein as Farley’s contemporaries like Adam Sandler, the humor isn’t that smart, but Farley has a sense of charm that Sandler lacks.  As a result, Tommy Boy is an enjoyable, dumb comedy.

The story for Tommy Boy is most of the problem.  The story is weak and predictable.  It is sometimes pointed out that the story has some Hamlet-esque aspect with Tommy’s stepmother and “brother” killing the king for his kingdom and Tommy the only one standing between them.  This is a bit of a stretch and minus the bloodshed at the end.  I would have liked it if they had just done a funny Hamlet…it would have given the movie more depth.


Who doesn’t love the Carpenters?

What sells Tommy Boy is Tommy himself.  Farley was a self-deprecating comedian that still could pull of the physical.  He is loud, brash, and goofy, but it works.  He was a big admirer of John Belushi (and unfortunately went the same route).  His yang was David Spade who managed to pull off the snarky aspect of the movie.  They work well together and seem to get each other (though Farley is still the real pull).

Tommy Boy is a fun movie, but it isn’t very good.  Part of the movie’s appeal probably is Farley’s short life.  I don’t know if Farley had staying power like a John Candy, but it would have been interesting to see where his career would have gone if he hadn’t passed so early.  Farley and Spade reteamed in 1996 for Black Sheep.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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