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Bachelor Party

If anyone other than Tom Hanks had starred in Bachelor Party, chances are there'd be no need for this review. That's because the sex-and-hijinks-packed flick would have faded into obscurity soon after its release instead of joining movies like Porky's and Animal House to become a classic guys' comedy. But thanks to Hanks, not only is Bachelor Party still around, but it's also still worth watching. As bus-driving, party-loving underachiever Rick, he does more of the same appealingly goofy-but-sweet comedic shtick he perfected in the early '80s on TV (in the underrated "Bosom Buddies") and in the movies (Splash). In the midst of the zaniness going on around him in Bachelor Party, Hanks manages to turn even the corniest lines into laughs — "Have a fun shower," he tells fiancee Debbie (Tawny Kitaen) before her bridal party. "Use soap." This pre-Philadelphia and Forrest Gump Hanks is a little looser-limbed, a little more energetically silly than the double-Oscar-winner we know and love today, and as good as he is now, it's fun to look back at him that way. He's convincing as Rick, a lighthearted guy who loves booze and hookers as much as the next guy, but wants to honor the promise he made Debbie: no sex with anyone else, professional or otherwise. So instead of indulging in carnal pleasures at the wild bachelor party his buddies (including ultimate '80s actor and erstwhile "T.J. Hooker" star Adrian Zmed) throw for him, he focuses on pulling off a series of pranks and jokes — some on Debbie and her friends, some on Debbie's Ken-doll ex-boyfriend Cole (Robert Prescott) and her disapproving white-bread father (George Grizzard). Bachelor Party is all fluff, and a lot of it is pretty mediocre, but overall it's fun and has plenty of nudity (which perhaps is why so many guys can quote the film word for word). Fox's DVD digs up a few short behind-the-scenes featurettes that offer interviews with Hanks and others from circa 1984, when Bachelor Party first hit theaters. All are under three minutes: "Behind the Scenes" gives an overview of the making of the movie, "An American Tradition" focuses on the inspiration for the movie (a party thrown for producer Bob Israel), "While the Men Play" looks at the women's side of the film, and "Tom Hanks Interviews" culls the bits he did for the other pieces into a special Hanks-only section. Bachelor Party looks pretty good on DVD, though the anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) is so clear that it reveals some graininess in spots. Audio options include Dolby Digital 4.0 and English and French mono tracks, plus English and Spanish subtitles. Trailer, keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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