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Fletch

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Critics' Reviews

AMG Review
Derek Armstrong
Along with brethren like Animal House, Caddyshack, and Stripes, Fletch has earned its place among a choice few endlessly quotable movies, and not just among slacker cinephiles who think of it as their comedic Bible. In his only classic leading role (Clark Griswold from Vacation falls just short, and he's part of an ensemble in Caddyshack), Chevy Chase is such a genius wordsmith, talking circles around one befuddled character after another, that it reaches the sublime. The numerous wacky identities he assumes are really only a surface gimmick, not necessary with dialogue this snappy and smart. Chase makes it easy to understand why this guy would be both a riot to be around and a major source of exasperation. Director Michael Ritchie goes a little heavy on intrigue, using one too many synthesized suspense songs better suited to a movie like Beverly Hills Cop, but Chase's smarter-than-thou schtick delivers more than enough laughs to offset these gestures. The credentials of screenwriters Andrew Bergman (Blazing Saddles), Phil Alden Robinson (All of Me), and Jerry Belson (Smile) blend perfectly to create material that's just right for Chase's deadpan deliveries, as well as a plot that's sufficiently serpentine and genuinely interesting. Whether posing as a mattress-tag inspector or running up endless food orders on the bill of a country club prig, Chase is the smooth prankster we all wish we could be. ~ Derek Armstrong, Rovi
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