Larger Than Life

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1/2

An unusual inheritance causes headaches for Bill Murray in this warm-hearted comedy. He plays third-rate motivational speaker Jack Corcoran, promoting his book Get Over It to business organizations. His mother told Jack that his absent father died years ago, so Jack is shocked by a telegram informing him that Dad just passed away. The note also says that Jack is in line for a sizable inheritance. But when he visits the east coast to claim it Jack learns that his father was a circus clown and his estate is actually a large female elephant named Vera (after Jack's mother) and a massive pile of bills. Jack's only solution is to transport the pachyderm to California and sell it to either an animal trainer (Linda Fiorentino) or a zoologist (Janeanne Garofolo). That cross-country trip proves to be a difficult task, however. The unusual pair ride a train to Kansas City, where they meet a circus performer (Pat Hingle) who knew Jack's father and also knows some basic commands for Vera. From there they hook up with Tip Tucker (Matthew McConaughey), a crazy truck driver who sees conspiracy around every corner and leaves Jack and his beast stranded in the Rocky Mountains. They also come to aid of a peasant village whose church is about to topple during a flood. LARGER THAN LIFE has warm and humorous moments, although it couldn't be characterized as hilarious. Murray's conversations and interactions with the elephant aren't as funny as we've come to expect from his previous movies.

The story is mostly innocent fun, as Jack must go to outrageous lengths to get rid of the elephant. To rent a semi-trailer truck he must lie, because he doesn't have a trucking license. He also uses a deceptive phone call so Tucker will agree to transport Vera for a while. When Tucker discovers he's been hoodwinked, he tries to attack Jack but Vera drags him away. Gradually Jack's opinion of his new companion begins to change. Unfortunately, LARGER THAN LIFE is spoiled by many crude words and a few obscenities included in the dialogue. We do not feel this language is appropriate for youngsters who will be attracted to this film, which is similar to the recent OPERATION DUMBO DROP.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
United Artists, 2500 Broadway St., Santa Monica, CA 90404-3061

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (10) times Mild 5, Moderate 5

Obscene Language: Few (4) times (s-word 2, other 2)

Profanity: Several (7) times Regular 1 (J), Exclamatory 6

Violence: Few times, Mild (man threatens to hit man, elephant picks up man, man shocked with cattle prod

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Man jokingly touches woman's clothed buttocks

Drugs: Alcohol drinking, smoking

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Age eight and above

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