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Film / Summer Rental

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Summer Rental is a 1985 comedy film directed by Carl Reiner and starring John Candy. The supporting cast includes Karen Austin, Kerri Green, Joey Lawrence, Rip Torn, John Larroquette, and Richard Crenna.

Jack Chester (Candy) is an overworked Atlanta air-traffic controller who decides to take his family on a summer vacation to fictitious Citrus Cove, Florida, during which they are constantly beset by a never-ending barrage of problems.

This film provides examples of

  • Bumbling Dad: Jack Chester.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Jack meets a neighbor at the resort town who has just had enlargement surgery, and feels the need to ask everyone's opinion of how they look. Her husband tells Jack she's been doing this for weeks since the surgery, much to his chagrin.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Jack's experience as an air traffic controller allows him to recognize a microburst of wind when it affects a passing plane. He then uses it to his advantage to overtake Captain Pellet's boat and win the Regatta.
  • The Chew Toy: Jack Chester suffers mishap after mishap throughout the movie.
  • Embarrassingly Painful Sunburn: After taking a nap in the sun, Jack spends the rest of the film with a sunburn, though it gets less embarrassingly painful as the film goes on and the burn fades.
  • Groin Attack/Instant Soprano: Jack gets socked in the groin and he starts singing the first line of "The Star-Spangled Banner", which has a rising high pitch.
  • Hook Hand: Scully has one as part of his pirate gimmick. It is unclear exactly how he got it.
  • Incompetent Guard Animal: Archie is not much of a guard dog; when a family enters the rental house in the middle of the night, he doesn't even lift his head (though in his defense, the house was actually theirs), and when beach-goers help themselves into the Chesters' other rental, Archie sits in bed to watch T.V. with one of the invaders. He does, however, bark at some neighbors who were minding their business.
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: Though certainly not newly-weds after having three kids together, it's notable for the genre and the time period that there are at least three instances where Jack and Scully are implied to have sex or talk about having sex.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Jack, being played by the famously chubby John Candy, is self-conscious about his body and brings it up a number of times. His wife, however, insists that she's already attracted to him.
  • Intimate Lotion Application: After Jack gets burned, his wife Sandy applies lotion to his burns. Then he convinces her to apply lotion to a place "down there" that was not burned as the scene cuts away suggestively.
  • Jerkass: Captain Al Pellet really has it in for Jack. When he takes over the property after Jack's original landlord dies, his first act is to tear up Jack's rent check in front of him and threaten to evict him unless he moves out.
  • Nautical Knockout: Happens to Scully when he first takes Jack sailing.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: When Sandy is applying lotion to Jack's burns, the film cuts to an outside shot of the rental house while Jack convinces his wife to apply lotion to a place "down there" that was not burned.
  • Underwear Flag: Zig-zagged; when the Barnacle needs a little boost of speed, achieved by adding another small sail, Jack has the idea to hang his trousers up the mast, finishing the race in his underwear.