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Uncle Buck (1989) - Movie Review

Every now and again it’s nice to put on a movie that requires zero effort to watch. I call these “comfort movies” (basically, a film you’ve seen so many times that watching it kind of feels like a nice warm blanket).


For me, films like Ghostbusters, Tremors, The 'Burbs, Back to the Future, Jaws, Arachnophobia, and any of the original three Indiana Jones films fall into this category.


The other night, feeling inspired by the response to the meme I shared on Facebook about the “wart scene” I decided to watch this absolute classic.


Uncle Buck (1989)


If you somehow haven’t seen it, it’s a classic John Hughes family comedy starring the loveable and sorely missed John Candy (Planes, Trains & Automobiles), Macaulay Culkin (Home Alone), Jean Louisa Kelly (Mr. Holland’s Opus), Gabby Hoffman (Volcano), Amy Madigan (Field of Dreams) and Laurie Metcalf (Scream 2) among others.


This is what it’s about according to the internet:


“When Cindy (Elaine Bromka) and her husband, Bob (Garrett M. Brown), have to leave town for a family emergency, there is only one person available to babysit for their three kids: Bob's lazy, carefree brother, Buck (Candy). While he immediately gets along with the two younger children (Hoffman and Culkin), Buck must change his bachelor lifestyle if he wants to be a responsible caregiver for the angst-filled teenager, Tia (Kelly).”



This is my favourite John Candy movie (not including Home Alone). It’s just hilarious! There’s something about these older films that makes them so easy to watch. I want to say it’s nostalgia but I don’t think it is. I just think they made better films back then.


When you think about how many franchises alone were born of films from the late 70s, 80s and 90s it just goes to show how much more original movies used to be.

I often wonder what films will be like in 20 years from now. With fewer and fewer original ideas coming out of Hollywood these days they’re likely to be making remakes of remakes!


Anyway, as usual I’ve digressed…



I love John Candy in this. He played a lot of loveable characters during his tragically short career but for me this is him at his most loveable best.

His unconventional, out-of-his-depth, yet no-nonsense approach to parenting, I’m sure is something a lot of us can relate to. It’s the fact that he has such a big heart and takes on the responsibility without hesitation (not to mention having absolutely no experience) that makes him so endearing. With a niece like Tia I wouldn’t have lasted a day!


The movie has so many memorable lines and scenes! The one where he puts the school principal in her place, and the one where he pulls out the hatchet from his car trunk to scare the sh#t out of his niece’s scumbag boyfriend never fail to make me laugh, and I’ve seen this movie a lot of times!



This of course was the film that introduced most of us to Macaulay Culkin and ultimately paved the way for Home Alone (1990) and his amazing (if not brief) career that followed. Although he was only about 8 or 9 at the time you can really see his star quality in this film, and it’s no surprise that he went on to be the child phenomenon that he was.


This is a real gem of a movie.

It’s such an innocent and charming family film. On top of that though it’s absolutely hilarious, meaningful, heartwarming, and a sad and painful reminder of what a huge and loveable talent we lost when John Candy passed away at the premature age of 43 (my age now).


If you haven’t seen it, where have you been?! Track it down immediately and enrich your life with one of the best comedies the late 80s has to offer.


Seen it? Of course you have!

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