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The 100




Son in Law
(1993)
Reviewed by Rhonda Gilbertson
Rating: 9 Beans

an anyone tell me why there seems to be a movie niche created especially for Pauly Shore? We, the moviegoing public, have been subjected to such cinematic masterpieces as Bio-Dome, Jury Duty, In The Army Now, and before those acts of cruel and unusual punishment, Son In Law. In this film outing, Pauly plays a fish-out-of-water LA oddball in rural South Dakota. He's certainly a fish out of water in this movie, but can anyone come up with an example of when Pauly was surrounded by others like himself? Would anyone want to?

On to the film, fearless Bad Movie fans! Pauly's character is named Crawl, ostensibly because that was his preferred method of getting home from rowdy college parties, but I think it's more appropriate to say that this is what he makes your skin do every time he appears onscreen. At home in LA he dresses in outfits that are hideously ugly, and once in South Dakota it only gets worse. He likes to sing, badly, and tries to solve the problems of all around him, though thankfully not through his singing.

Enter Rebecca, fresh off the farm, and newly arrived at some random LA college. Crawl happens to be her dorm's resident advisor (must have been an interesting job interview) and when she decides around Halloween time that she's dropping out to go back home where things are normal, Crawl intervenes. He takes her out shopping for "weasel-wear" (hot new clothing, for those not yet familiar with Shore-speak), a haircut and blonde dye job, and butterfly tattoo on her ankle. The two bond quickly, and when Thanksgiving rolls around and Crawl's plans for a road trip to Vegas fall through, Rebecca invites him to join her and the family on the farm.

So we're put through all sorts of scenes of Crawl out of his element on the farm, being shoved face-first into a steaming manure pile by massive farmhand Theo, steamrolled by a hell-bent pig, and having a cow urinate on his head while he's attempting a milking from behind. I imagine someone out there found these scenes funny, but I was just hoping it would all end quickly in one of those unfortunate accidents involving heavy farm machinery. Alas, Crawl masters the combine and carves his name into a corn field to the tune of "Thank God I'm a Country Boy".

All this farm duty is performed because Crawl is presented as Rebecca's fiancÚ to save her from an unwanted engagement to her old high school boyfriend, and he now has to prove himself to her family. Needless to say, the family is initially horrified at the prospect of their baby girl marrying into the House of Crawl, and Dad is so revulsed that he can't remember Crawl's name, calling him "Crap" and "Crotch" as he struggles to address him properly.

Of course by the end of the movie, Crawl has won everyone over to believing in him. He accomplishes this by helping Rebecca's little brother with his cranky computer, and bonding with him over back issues of Playboy. Mom is given a makeover that leaves her looking MUCH worse than before, then taken to a square dance where Crawl replaces the caller and tortures us further with instrutions to "Buff the wood" and "Do the Funky Chicken". For some reason, the townsfolk love this, and when Crawl stage dives, they gleefully support him, unlike the hapless original caller, who lands face-first on the wooden floor. Dad and Grandpa and Crawl bond on a fishing trip where Crawl explains parenting to Dad and saves Grandpa from a heart attack. Apparently out of gratitude, Grandpa demeans himself by adopting Shore-speak by the end of the picture, and then our torture is complete.

Now that we've survived the hell that is "Son In Law", can we say we've learned our lesson and will NEVER see another Pauly Shore movie? Good, the pain wasn't without a point. Wish I could say the same for the movie.






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