If you were feeling charitable, you might say that you couldn't remember a more forgettable comedy than "Summer Rental." But who's feeling charitable? "Summer Rental" is the kind of movie that could make you wish you had poison ivy -- at least the scratching would occupy your mind.
Instead, you pass 90 minutes ripping out great Sargassian clumps of your hair as the movie wends its way through Carl Reiner's stagy, slapdash direction and gags too dreary to recount. But heck, it's Saturday -- let's recount a few. Jack Chester (John Candy), a burned-out air traffic controller ordered to take a month off, carts the family off to a beautiful vacation home in Florida, only to find out that there's been a mistake -- the home he actually rented is a dump. (Laughter.) He goes to visit his attractive neighbor, who removes her bikini and asks him to touch her breast implants and judge whether they feel real. (Uproarious laughter.) When he returns to his own rental, he finds it crowded with strangers who have just barged right in. (Mad howls and foot-stamping.)
The pasteurized process-cheese plot involves a wealthy yachtsman (Richard Crenna) and a lovable old salt (Rip Torn). Of course the yachtsman uses his privilege to dastardly effect. Of course the old salt aids Chester in engineering the yachtsman's comeuppance. Of course the occasion of that comeuppance is a sailboat race. Of course actors like Torn, Crenna and Candy deserve better than this clodpate fare. But then again, Richard Gere would deserve better than "Summer Rental."