Larger Than Life (1996)

LARGER THAN LIFE, the comedy that puts Bill Murray on the road with 
an elephant (!), almost warranted a walk-out, but not because this 
particular pachyderm played in the odious OPERATION DUMBO DROP.  
Rather, it was the number of children in attendance that left my 
companion and I unable to relax in our seats.  (Upon entering the 
theater, Waverly Place in Cary, we were dismayed to discover bare 
walls.  Without stereo sound to drown out the inevitable noise of 
an underage audience, the situation was rapidly approaching lose-
lose.  Did I mention the dried vomit on the seat in front of us?)  
Happily, the brats were well-behaved, though I doubt that any of 
them appreciated Bill Murray's character of a smarmy motivational 
speaker.  (His motto, obviously modeled after multiplex managers, 
is "get over it.")  They came to see an elephant and, oh, what an 
elephant it was!  Vera, as she's called in the movie, can bow and 
play dead and do almost any trick, except perform a rewrite on Roy 
Blount Jr.'s clearly understocked script.  In fact, no human that 
Mr. Motivation meets on his cross-country trip to California-- to 
sell Vera to either a zoo-keeper (Janeane Garofalo) or an animal 
trainer (Linda Fiorentino)-- is particularly funny, not even the 
manic trucker Tip played by an unrecognizable Matthew McConaughey.  
Critters watching critters notwithstanding, LARGER THAN LIFE is 
best enjoyed as another of Murray's feature-length slow burns.  
And stay awake for the movie's one great scene, when Murray tries 
to drive a big rig.  Hilarious.  (Rated "PG"/93 min.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted in triangle.movies as Large Time Not Had By All

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