John Candy was widely known for being the funny man in the movies, after all he’d made a reputation for being one of the funniest men alive. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t get serious in his movies from time to time. Comedy is great and all, but it becomes little more than slapstick and one joke following another after a while without any real content if it’s not broken up occasionally by something else. A comedian can exist on their comedy but they do need to diversify from time to time in order to be seen as something other than just the funny person. For some folks that’s enough, but for others the desire to be taken seriously and seen as a well-rounded actor and not just one-trick pony tends to become a burning desire that takes over their career and makes them into a person that craves the attention of the people for being the kind of person that can take on multiple projects because they do possess the ability to adapt to any circumstance. It was odd seeing Candy in dramatic roles after being lauded as such a funny man, but he did prove that he could do it as he was both sincere and genuine in his acting.
Here are a few clips just to prove that he was more than the big, jolly comedian that people wanted to see him as.
There was really nothing funny about this movie which is probably why some folks were confused at seeing John Candy in it. JFK was, according to critics, one of the worst dramatizations of the incident that took place in 1963 and was buried not long after its release in terms of how it was remembered. Candy was only one of many actors in this film that were no doubt confusing to see as this was the kind of movie that didn’t make stars look better, but would instead threaten to bury their career. Some folks liked it, others didn’t care, but many critics absolutely lambasted this movie as being nothing short than awful.
4. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
John worked with some very notable actors and comedians alike. In this film, which is a laugh riot just about the whole way through, there a few moments between Neil and Dell that don’t seem to go as smoothly as this one points out. Dell is the average, blue-collar slob in every sense of the word since he doesn’t practice the best hygiene and tends to wander the country picking up friends and customers wherever he goes. Neil on the other hand is the business man that likes everything to make sense and has a serious issue with the way Dell is just a walking bundle of chaos. Together however they make a pretty funny pair.
3. The Great Outdoors
Chet and Roman do not get along in this movie, at least not until the very end. This seemed to be John’s M.O. in the movies, he would almost always be the opposite of the other actor he was playing against and would almost always be the working class man that was attempting to do his best. It suited him really since he played the role so well, but watching Chet and Roman go at it in a verbal sparring match was comic gold and also made for some very convincing drama. How many brother-in-laws can relate to the idea that they simply don’t get along with each other and would gladly leave a dent in each other’s forehead?
2. Uncle Buck
Much of this movie was a serious test of wills between Buck and Tia, which ended many times in a comedic fashion but during the most important time finally brought the two of them together in a very emotional way. After Tia was kicked out by her boyfriend Bug, Buck finds her and they reconcile as he admits that he’s not the easiest person to get along with. Of course shortly after this touching and dramatic moment the movie makes another transition to a comedic moment in which Buck finally gets to torment Bug the way he wanted to in the first place. Oh yes, sweet revenge on snarky teenagers after a moment of heartfelt drama is the best.
1. Cool Runnings
There wasn’t nearly as much comedy in this film as one might have expected, largely because it was a very big deal for Jamaica to even make it into the Olympics. Candy played coach Irving Blitzer, a disgraced Olympian that was recruited by the team to guide them to victory. His initial reluctance was eventually worn down and he took the team to the Olympics in Calgary. The movie was based on the true story but played it fast and loose with the facts. The best part about the film however was that Candy was a very honest, sincere, and impassioned actor that did his best to give an outstanding performance.
It’s during moments like these that you can honestly miss this man all over again.