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‘Nothing but Trouble’ (PG-13)

By Hal Hinson
Washington Post Staff Writer
February 16, 1991

"Nothing but Trouble," which distinguishes itself by being Dan Aykroyd's directorial debut and in no other way, certainly lives up to its name. But you could go far beyond that -- it's nothing but trouble and agony and pain and suffering and obnoxious, toxically unfunny bad taste. It's nothing but miserable.

Watching this yuppie nightmare fantasy, all you can think is, "How does a thing like this happen?" Chevy Chase and Demi Moore take a wrong turn on the way to Atlantic City and think they're taking a more scenic route through New Jersey. Instead they end up prisoners of a maniacal justice of the peace (Aykroyd) in a carcinogenic sinkhole called Valkenvania. Horrible things happen. John Candy makes a brief appearance in dual roles -- one of them as a woman -- but not brief enough for him not to disembowel his agent for allowing him to show his face in this thing.

There's a sublime Ray Charles number over the opening credits, and it says, "The good life, full of fun, seems to be the ideal." It's the last tolerable moment in the picture, and the film is only about 30 seconds old. This is far from the good life, far from ideal.

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