Larger Than Life - * *

This elephant road comedy actually has a few good moments. Bill Murray is a self-absorbed motivational speaker. When his long lost father dies, he travels to the East Coast to claim his inheritance, only to discover that his father was a clown, whose only possession is a trained elephant, Vera. Now, Murray has only a few days to transport Vera cross-country. Why? Well, he called the San Diego zoo instead of some easy-to-get-to local zoo, and…well, you can see it from there. Along the way, he meets a variety of colorful characters (including Pat Hingle, David Keith and Matthew McConaughey), and bonds with the elephant (awwww). If you isolate certain scenes (Murray’s self-help opener, and a couple of cross-country scenes with the elephant) you’ll get a chuckle here and there. Yet when strung together, you must deal with the plot, and a rather pitiful one at that. It seems like the concept (elephant road movie) was sold before the writer had any idea how to get it done. It combines one farfetched harebrained idea after another, and nearly distracts you from any comic potential in the film. Still, if you ignore the plot and concentrate on the humor, you might manage to get a couple of laughs here and there. All in all, it’s better than you’d think an “elephant road comedy” should be.

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