Nothing but Trouble (1991 film)
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|Nothing But Trouble|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dan Aykroyd|
|Produced by||Lester Berman
Robert K. Weiss
|Screenplay by||Dan Aykroyd|
|Story by||Peter Aykroyd|
|Music by||Michael Kamen|
|Edited by||Malcolm Campbell
James R. Symons
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||February 15, 1991|
|Running time||94 minutes|
|Box office||$8,479,793 (US)|
Nothing But Trouble is a 1991 American horror comedy, directed by and co-starring Dan Aykroyd, who also co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Peter. The cast featured Chevy Chase, John Candy, and Demi Moore, with Taylor Negron, Raymond J. Barry, and Brian Doyle-Murray, in supporting roles.
While hosting a party in his Manhattan penthouse, financial publisher Chris Thorne (Chase) meets lawyer Diane Lightson (Moore) and agrees to escort her to consult a client in Atlantic City on the following day. Some obnoxious wealthy Brazilian siblings Fausto and Renalda, Thorne's clients whom he calls "Brazillionaires", meet up with them and invite themselves along.
Along the way, Chris takes a supposed scenic detour off of the New Jersey Turnpike, ultimately ending up in the run-down village of Valkenvania. Failing to comply with a stop sign and subsequently attempting to escape pursuing officer Dennis Valkenheiser (Candy), the group is captured and taken before 106-year-old Reeve Alvin Valkenheiser (Aykroyd), who confiscates their identification cards. After Chris makes too many smart-alecky remarks, the reeve drops a trap door out from under them in order to hold the offenders in his courthouse/funhouse to be judged. Later on some disrespectful drunk drivers that had even tried to threaten Dennis are called before the reeve, who sentences them to immediate death at the hands of a deadly roller coaster nicknamed "Mr. Bonestripper".
Invited up to dinner, the group is repulsed by the bizarre food choices (involving a hot dog train and a warm can of Hawaiian punch) but also learns the reeve has labeled Chris as a "banker" for his financial affiliations, and is holding them there out of revenge for the Valkenheiser family's misfortune at the hands of a corrupt coal deal long before. The group attempts an escape, but due to a series of mishaps, Chris and Diane are overtaken by Alvin's mute granddaughter Eldona (also John Candy). Meanwhile, being chased by Dennis' trigger-happy cousin, Miss Purdah, the two Brazillionaires escape by cutting a deal with Dennis, who decides to escape with them.
The reeve is angered by their actions and imprisons Chris and Diane in a room from which the pair eventually escapes (again with help from Dennis) and getting lost through hidden hallways and slides, become separated. Diane makes it out of the house and into the property's salvage yard; here, she meets two troll-like creatures by the names of Bobo and Lil' Debbull, the judge's severely deformed grandchildren. Earning the creatures' friendship, Diane catches glimpses of Eldona destroying Chris's BMW.
Meanwhile, Chris sneaks into the reeve's personal quarters but is quickly caught. Valkenheiser punishes him according to house policy, which decrees that Chris must marry Eldona. Meanwhile in the court room, the alternative rap group Digital Underground is being held on charges of speeding, but the reeve releases them after being charmed by an impromptu performance of one of the group's hits. He also asks them to stay as witnesses for the wedding, which Chris reluctantly goes through with in exchange for his life, but is later caught pleading the band to help him escape. The band leaves without understanding him, and Alvin sentences Chris to "Mr. Bonestripper,". The machine breaks down the instant before Chris is fed into it, and he escapes. The reeve nearly kills Diane with another claw contraption, but Chris retrieves her at the last second and the two jump on a train back to New York.
After the two report their plight to the authorities, the reeve's courthouse is raided by local and state police. Chris and Diane are asked to accompany the officers to the site, only to find out that the officers involved are fully aware of and in league with the reeve. The couple only escapes when the area's underground coal fires cause a collapse, destroying the town.
The Brazillionaires are shown to have made their way back to South America; Dennis is now their personal head of security and Renalda's lover. Chris and Diane are shown relaxing in New York. Chris's relief does not last, however, as he stumbles on a televised news segment covering the ruined town of Valkenvania, in which Valkenheiser, brandishing Chris's ID, announces that he and his family plan to move in with his new grandson-in-law in New York saying "See you soon Banker!" To which Chris runs away screaming, making a cartoon-style impression of himself through a wall, and retorting "No you wo~n't!" Immediately slamming the door behind him.
- Chevy Chase as Chris Thorne
- Demi Moore as Diane Lightson
- John Candy as Dennis Valkenheiser / Eldona
- Dan Aykroyd as Reeve Alvin Valkenheiser / Bobo
- Taylor Negron as Fausto
- Bertila Damas as Renalda
- Valri Bromfield as Miss Purdah
- Digital Underground
The film won the 1991 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor for Dan Aykroyd, and was nominated for five others: Worst Picture (which lost to Hudson Hawk, which oddly enough starred Demi Moore's then-husband Bruce Willis), Worst Actress (Demi Moore, who lost to Sean Young for A Kiss Before Dying as the twin who survives), Worst Supporting Actress (John Candy in drag, also lost to Sean Young for A Kiss Before Dying as the twin who's murdered), Worst Director (Aykroyd, lost to Michael Lehmann for Hudson Hawk) and Worst Screenplay (also lost to Hudson Hawk). The film was also nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Make-Up, where it lost to The Silence of the Lambs.
Nothing But Trouble received overwhelmingly negative reviews, and flopped at the box office, earning about $8 million in the U.S. on an estimated budget of $40 million. It currently holds a 9% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 11 reviews, with a rating average of 2/10. According to one biography, Chase "knew that the film was going to be the worst film he would ever make", but because of his friendship with Aykroyd, he accepted the role of Chris Thorne. Reflecting on the film some years later, it was noted as an "unfortunate turning point" in Aykroyd's career that, as the director, writer and star, left "only (Aykroyd) to blame for the film's spectacular failure."
- Box office and business for Nothing But Trouble at the Internet Movie Database
- Awards details for Nothing But Trouble at the Razzies
- Foster, David (September 1992). "A Word from the Critic". Cincinnati Magazine (Emmis Communications) 25 (12): 26–27.
- "Nothing But Trouble (1991)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 03 October 2013.
- Fruchter, Rena. I'm Chevy Chase and You're Not. London: Virgin Books Ltd., 2007, p. 158.
- Rabin, Nathan. My Year of Flops. New York: AV Club., 2007