Larger Than Life
Bill Murray, Tai the elephant
Pat Hingle, Janeane Garofalo
Directed by Howard Franklin
Fullscreen MGM 1996
Larger Than Life is a decent Bill Murray comedy and it is a fun little movie. Murray is his usual stoic comic self most of the time in this story of a motivational speaker who inherits an elephant and goes on the road with her. This comedy is a better than average buddy road movie.
When Jack Corcoran (Bill Murray) learns of his father’s passing he is most surprised as his mother told him the man had died many years before. He quickly makes his way to the lawyer’s office to collect his “rather large inheritance”. It turns out Jack’s dad was a circus clown and the inheritance is an elephant. Jack must find a way to get Vera the elephant to the west coast to either a woman who is going to release her in Sri Lanka or perhaps sell her to a Hollywood animal training facility.
Of course, you don’t just put an elephant on a plane so Larger Than Life is the story of Jack and Vera’s comic cross-country trip as they get to know each other a little better. The Bill Murray character must also face a few obstacles such as figuring out how to get the elephant to do what he wants and how to drive an 18 wheeler. The driving scene is quite funny and allows Murray to do some pretty good physical comedy.
Along the way, Corcoran and the elephant meet quite a few strange characters. An old carny and his tattooed lady wife, a conspiracy minded trucker named Tip (“Tip. Do you ever sleep?” “Oh, yeah, I slept last week.”) played for all its worth by Matthew McConaughey.
What also makes Larger Than Life a lot of fun is how original Jack and Vera’s adventures are. They save a village and become heroes and do a scene out of a western before they finally make it to Hollywood where a few nasty surprises and a very funny trip through the airport await
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