Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) is the heir to Callahan Auto Parts who barely graduated college. When his dad (Brian Dennehy) passes away suddenly, Tommy and his father’s assistant, Richard (David Spade), go on the road to sell the company’s new brake pads and keep the business from getting bought by Zalinsky Auto Parts.
Tommy Boy may possibly be my favorite feel good film (I’m not for sure on that but it’s up there). The story is straightforward and light, allowing you to have a ton of fun along the way. Easily the movie’s strongest point is the chemistry between Chris Farley and David Spade. The way they bounce off each other is spectacular. This is evident from their first scene together. Just about every time they are on screen together is side-splitting. There are so many memorable lines throughout the entirety of this movie, mostly from the lead duo but everyone gets quip or two of their own. Below is one of my favorite quotes but truth is, I had a hard time choosing just one. From “a lot of people go to college for seven years” to “housekeeping,” it’s difficult to pick a favorite line or moment.
Most of this movie sees Farley and Spade traveling around the mid-eastern United States, which like most great road trip movies, cause some crazy shenanigans. Thankfully, this film doesn’t follow the normal road trip trope of the leads becoming buddies, and then something happening that makes them not buddies again, then at the end they make up and are closer than ever. Once they become friends, they stay friends, which turns into a touching moment between them towards the end. Tommy Boy is fun, pure and simple. At ninety minutes of run time, you’d be hard pressed to find more entertainment for your time.
Boy 1: Hey, Tub-o, you ain’t moving!
Tommy: Yeah, need a little wind here.
Boy 2: No, you need to drop a couple hundred pounds, blimp.
Tommy: [Laughs] Rascals. I guess that’s your theory.
Boy 3: Hey, your sail is limp, like your dick.
Tommy: Watch your language in front of the lady, punk! Jeez. You were saying?
Boy 1: Hey, Gilligan, did you eat the skipper?
Tommy: You better pray to the god of skinny punks that this wind doesn’t pick up! ‘Cause I’ll come over there and jam an oar up your ass!
Tommy: Jeepers creepers. Those guys keep interrupting us. I’m sorry about that. You were saying about, the, um…
Boy 2: Hey, lady, look out! There’s a fat whale on your boat!
Boy 3: Yeah, free Willy.
Michelle: Listen up you little spazoids, I know where you live and I’ve seen where you sleep! I swear to everything holy that your mothers will cry when they’ve seen what I’ve done to you! [Boys run away] I was just kidding. I have no idea where they live.
Cast & Crew
Peter Segal – Director
Bonnie Turner – Writer
Terry Turner – Writer
David Newman – Composer
Chris Farley – Tommy
David Spade – Richard
Brian Dennehy – Big Tom
Bo Derek – Beverly
Rob Lowe – Paul
Julie Warner – Michelle
Dan Aykroyd – Zalinsky
Sean McCann – Frank Rittenhauer
Zach Grenier – Ted Reilly
James Blendick – Ron Gilmore