Film Review: Fletch
Chevy Chase has been known for his comedic roles in films such as Christmas Vacation, Caddyshack and Three Amigos. He has also played a major role in two very successful television series: Community and Saturday Night Live. While only a part of the Saturday Night Live cast for its debut and one season, Chevy Chase left a lasting impression on the show and set a standard for late night comedy that hosts of talk shows and cast members of Saturday Night Live now strive for. Chevy Chase has set tones in many of his films within his wildly successful movie career in the 80’s.
While many of his films are at the top of comedies, Chase has been a part of one film that has brilliantly shown off his sarcastic and deadpan humor: Fletch. Based off the novel by Gregory McDonald, Fletch centers around Irwin M. Fletcher, an investigative reporter, who is writing a piece for the paper on the drug trafficking on the beaches of Los Angeles. While deep in his story, Alan Stanwyk, a CEO of a high dollar aviation company, asks Fletch to commit a murder. The person to be murdered: Alan Stanwyk. Suddenly, Fletch is caught between two stories that begin to interweave into one.
While the story line is phenomenal in itself, with credit due to Gregory McDonald, it is certainly the comedy and one-liners that Chevy Chase presents that makes this film. The humor is truly one of a kind as Chase enters into a character that is rife with cockiness and sarcasm. Should someone like any Chevy Chase film, Fletch is a must see. Chase himself deemed it his favorite out of all the films he’s worked on because it allowed him to “be himself.”
While this film is an unsung classic for the modern age, it certainly deserves a reprise. In such a sarcastic world it is a wonder this film has not received the attention it deserves. From his random names for his multitude of hilarious disguises to his subtle and quick innuendos, Chevy Chase displays his genius in a book character that seems to have been made specifically for him.
Movies aren’t your thing? The book Fletch is just as, if not even more so, entertaining and full of the same humor. The wit and pure rude arrogance of Fletcher bleeds through the pages. It might be suggested, however, to read the book and then watch the movie to 1) better understand the plot and 2) admire the page to screen ability of director Michael Ritchie and star Chevy Chase. Should you find yourself wanting more and more Fletch, fear not. A sequel to the movie was made called Fletch Lives. While, like most sequels, it does not come close to the original, it certainly holds the same humor and brilliant character of Irwin M. Fletcher. There are also several Fletch books written by Gregory McDonald that, though not as funny as the original, should be at the top for entertaining mystery novels.
Fletch set the tone for sarcasm in films as Chevy Chase has done his entire career. After watching the film it is easy to notice many different films borrowing the comedic genius of Chevy Chase as Fletch.