This is no Forrest Gump, let me just go ahead and get that out of the way. Bachelor Party was one of Tom Hanks’s very first films. This raunchy comedy hit theaters in 1984, the same year Splash did. As the title suggests, the plot centers around a man having a bachelor party with his friends to celebrate his engagement. He’s made a promise to his fiancée to be faithful and not fool around any at the party… but of course temptation arises and crazy hijinks ensue.
Tom Hanks is one crazy talented actor and always brings his all to whatever project he’s working on, whether it’s a serious drama such as Philadelphia or a comedy like this. Hanks boosts this film by quite a considerable amount; if it weren’t for him my score would be much lower. Hanks just has this lovability to him and his upbeat energy makes you want to be friends with him, which is beneficial to have in a crazy party film. He also presents something very refreshing to this kind of raunchy comedy: honesty and decency. It’s nice to see Hanks’s character not be a complete ass like his other male friends and I don’t mean that he’s pure or boring, I’m talking about commitment. He honestly does love his fiancé and doesn’t jump at the first chance to cheat like some of the other men. Believe me, he’s no saint here and he still gets involved in wild stuff, but he’s not a complete animal like Barry Diamond’s character. Barry Diamond is one of the two main characters I found to be grating and way too over the top. His character is basically just a complete Neanderthal and it’s never funny.
Gary Grossman is the other cast member I just couldn’t stand. I get it, he’s supposed to be the awkward cringeworthy friend who hardly ever gets laid, it’s a stereotype for there to be at least one of these guys in films like this. Well his character is just never likable or funny and I got tired of having to watch him. Also, there’s a pretty homophobic scene that has to do with him disappearing into a bedroom with a woman…. or at least he thinks it’s a woman, it’s actually a man in drag. After he sees him peeing standing up and realizes he just had sex with a man he completely freaks out and starts furiously scrubbing his crotch in the shower….. sigh. I know this was a different time but wow, not only is it not funny but it’s also offensive. Adrian Zmed is also in this, playing Hanks’s best friend and I must say I really loved him here. I mean yes he’s of course very good looking which helps…. BUT he’s also a talented actor and comes off as very likable.
Now I must give shout outs to two final cast members who are very funny and have some of the best moments in the whole film. Wendie Jo Sperber and Barbara Stuart. Sperber plays the wife of one of the men and really comes alive when the ladies decide to go out to a male strip club. We see her turn on a dime from being shy and mousy to letting her freak flag fly and that’s what makes it so great. Stuart is the mother of the fiancée who also comes alive at the strip club when she comes into contact with…. something she’s never seen before. Stuart takes advantage of the scenes she’s in and I must commend her. Lastly, I just want to say that Michael Dudikoff is very lovely to look at… all he really gets to do is be dumb but at least he’s gorgeously dumb.
So the cast aside, how’s the script? Well the script isn’t brilliant and there have been other party comedies that did this kind of thing better but it’s not a disaster. I do like how Hanks is written; like I said, he’s very likable and that’s essential to this film’s success. I also like the scenes between him and his fiancée played by Tawny Kitaen. They have good chemistry and I actually buy them as a couple. The comedy lands a little less than half of the time if I’m being completely honest. There are several scenes in particular that work and I did laugh at, mainly thanks to Hanks. Hanks has a dry sense of humor that’s effective in getting laughs. But…. there are also a good many scenes also where the comedy falls flat and just seems mediocre and childish. It’s a double edged sword.
One of the things that was consistently NOT funny was the character of Cole, a man who wants Hanks’s fiancée back. There’s several wacky scenes with him and it just never works. The ending also has to do largely with his character and really goes off the rails. The ending jumps the shark and goes pretty bonkers which I wasn’t a fan of. Yeah there are wild scenes throughout but that ending is wild in an over the top stupid way.
Bachelor Party is a mixed bag. Tom Hanks has some really good moments and brings the laughs on several occasions, but there’s also numerous times where the comedy falls pretty flat. If it’s free on streaming and you love Hanks and raunchy comedy, maybe worth one watch but don’t pay to watch it.
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