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Funny Farm

Released on: 03 Jun 1988 • Rated: PG • Runtime: 101 min

Genre: Comedy

Director: George Roy Hill
Writer: Jay Cronley, Jeffrey Boam
Actors: Chevy Chase, Madolyn Smith Osborne, Kevin O’Morrison

Plot: A couple swap city life for the country, but their picturesque new hometown turns out to be just a little bit different to what they were expecting.

Box Office Gross: $25,537,221

Awards: N/A








“Funny Farm,” the 1988 comedy starring Chevy Chase, is a delightful romp into the idyllic yet quirky world of countryside living. Directed by George Roy Hill, this film takes the concept of city slickers moving to the country and turns it into a comedic goldmine, filled with eccentric characters and uproarious situations.

Plot Overview

The film follows Andy Farmer (Chevy Chase), a sports writer who, along with his wife Elizabeth (Madolyn Smith), decides to leave the hustle and bustle of New York City for the seemingly tranquil life in the small town of Redbud, Vermont. Andy dreams of writing the Great American Novel, while Elizabeth looks forward to the peace and quiet of rural living. However, their expectations quickly unravel as they encounter the town’s bizarre traditions, oddball residents, and a series of comedic misadventures that turn their dream into a laugh-out-loud nightmare.

Character Dynamics

Chevy Chase, known for his deadpan humor and comedic timing, is perfectly cast as Andy Farmer. His portrayal of a man slowly unraveling amidst the chaos of country life is both hilarious and relatable. Madolyn Smith’s Elizabeth is the voice of reason amidst the madness, and her chemistry with Chase provides a solid foundation for the film’s comedic escapades. The real stars, however, are the townsfolk of Redbud, each more eccentric than the last, from the cryptic mailman to the couple who can’t stop bickering. Their interactions with Andy and Elizabeth are at the heart of the film’s humor.

Cinematography and Visuals

The film’s cinematography captures the picturesque beauty of rural Vermont, contrasting the serene landscapes with the chaotic life the Farmers find themselves in. The visual comedy is well-executed, with sight gags and slapstick humor that complement the witty dialogue. The portrayal of Redbud as a character in itself, with its charming yet bizarre ambiance, adds to the film’s appeal.

Comedy and Tone

“Funny Farm” excels in its blend of situational and character-driven comedy. The humor ranges from subtle to overt, with Chevy Chase delivering a performance that is both comically exaggerated and endearingly human. The film does a fantastic job of poking fun at the idiosyncrasies of small-town life while maintaining a certain affection for its setting and characters. The tone is light and playful, making it a perfect comedy for a relaxed viewing experience.

Soundtrack and Score

The film’s soundtrack, while not particularly standout, effectively supports the comedic and emotional moments. The score, with its light and whimsical tunes, complements the film’s rural setting and the overall tone of lightheartedness.

Themes and Messages

Beneath the comedy, “Funny Farm” touches on themes of adapting to change, the challenges of pursuing one’s dreams, and the realization that sometimes what we seek is not always what we need. The film explores the idea of the grass not always being greener on the other side, and it does so in a way that is both humorous and thought-provoking.

Performances and Direction

Chevy Chase’s performance is a highlight, showcasing his ability to blend physical comedy with a more subdued, sarcastic humor. Madolyn Smith provides a perfect counterbalance, delivering a grounded performance that anchors the film. The supporting cast of quirky characters adds depth and variety to the comedy. George Roy Hill’s direction ensures that the film maintains a steady pace, balancing the comedic and narrative elements effectively.


In conclusion, “Funny Farm” is a delightful comedy that offers a humorous take on the classic city-to-country transition. With Chevy Chase’s comedic prowess and a cast of memorable characters, the film is a testament to the enduring appeal of light-hearted, character-driven comedies. It’s a film that will resonate with anyone who’s ever dreamed of a simpler life, only to find that simplicity is often more complicated than it seems. “Funny Farm” is a comedic gem that deserves a spot in the collection of any fan of the genre, a film that entertains and amuses while subtly reminding us to appreciate the life we have.

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