Happy Canada Day!
I can't think of a better way of celebrating than going through John Candy's best films. After all, he's a cult hero and, in my opinion, the funniest man to come out of Canada. Yes, that’s right Jim Carrey.
Sit down! Here's my pick of his best films:
Candy had the perfect personality to play the best friend roles in movies, and this list is full of those performances. In Spaceballs, he shines as a Chewbacca-mocking half man, half dog named Barf. The last classic Mel Brooks parody allowed Candy to be a real life version of Pete the pup from the “Our Gang” films. His tongue flaps from his mouth when trudging through the desert and he whimpers convincingly when confronted by Pizza the Hut. It’s criminal that Hollywood has green-lighted and produced four Transformers films, but couldn’t pull together a Spaceballs sequel.
You’d probably forgotten that John Candy is in Home Alone, right? He appears in a cameo as Gus Polinski, the polka king of the mid west… You know their hit song, right? Polka polka, polka... Twin Lakes Polka...? Domavougi Polka A.K.A. Kiss me polka...polka twist? Oh right, yeah, they're not big in Chicago...Never mind.
He's funny and he's the perfect person to have when you've lost your child. For the audience that is, because he's absolutely awful at comforting, which is hilarious.
Candy does some of his best acting as shower ring salesman Del Griffith, and his warmth plays perfectly off Steve Martin’s anxiety. Even his moustache is on point. The moment the loneliness of Del is revealed is a real heart breaker, partly because we’ve grown to love him so much. He’s your favourite stuffed animal whose arm is coming apart at the seams, and America lives to fix those problems.
John Hughes was a master of creating lovable characters, and with Uncle Buck he and Candy created a live action teddy bear bodyguard. Uncle Buck was the closest Candy got to being a super hero on screen. The scene when he breaks down the door to stop the creepy boyfriend from defiling his niece is an all-time fist pumping, hell yeah, moment. Buck was quirky and weird, like all great Candy characters, except he made enormous pancakes. One can’t underestimate the attraction giant pancakes had to a child. The scene between with Buck getting bombarded with questions by Macaulay Culkin's Miles will always be one of my favourite scenes of all time.
John Candy plays the team's ethically questionable trainer, Irving Blitzer, guiding the three failed runners (and the best go-kart driver in Jamaica) perhaps not to victory, but definitely to undeniable, unforgettable glory – and in so doing turns in yet another of his signature performances, up there with Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Uncle Buck. That he's actually convincing is a small miracle. He's motivational, he's funny and he's got depth. He's the strongest part of this film and, without him, it wouldn't be as good.
I spent many a rainy Sunday devouring this movie, and most of my enjoyment came from Candy’s role as Pryor’s best friend/catcher. He’s the happy and upbeat face for the entire film. He even got to wear a solid gold catcher’s mask necklace. That piece of jewellery was the ultimate in cool for an eight year old. This is classic Candy.
What Do You Think?
Is there another film you admire?
Let us know in the comments!