Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation

directed by Henry Koster
Category: "Comedy"
Year of Release:1962
Date Added:04/25/2008
Date Watched:03/02/2006
My Rating:7

Reviews for Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation

Review - Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation

Why I saw it: Sal and I were at Borders last summer and thought it looked funny, so we bought it. It got lent to my Mom and handed around the family, so I didn’t get a chance to watch it until now.

Brief Synopsis: Banker Roger Hobbs wants to go on a nice vacation with his wife, Peggy. But this nice vacation turns into a month at a decrepit beach house with his entire family. During the first few days, the problems arrive with stunning frequency.
• Their 14-year-old daughter Tracey just got braces and sits around sulking.
• Their 12-year-old son Danny refuses to be torn away from the TV.
• Their married daughter Susan has a young son who runs around breaking things and an unemployed husband, Stan. They quarrel, and Stan takes off.
• Byron, the husband of their other daughter, Janie, is hitting on the blond floozie next door.
• On top of this, the water pump won’t work, and Roger somehow ends up carrying everyone’s luggage.

But as the month goes on, Roger finds ways to work things out for each member of the family.
• He takes Tracey to a dance and pays Joe to dance with her. He decides he likes her for real and gives Roger his money back. He and Tracey date several times.
• He takes Danny out in a sailboat to see an eclipse. They get lost in a fog and almost run down by a tanker, but Roger somehow manages to come out of the fog right in front of the harbor, making him Danny’s hero.
• Stan applies for a job, but before he can get it, his prospective boss, Mr. Turner, and his wife show up at the house for a several-day visit. Roger attempts to impress them, but the Turners are dull people who don’t like to do anything except watch birds. Roger agrees to go out birding with him one day. He’s miserable, but he manages to show Mr. Turner a lifer, a Great Blue Heron. Later, when the water pump explodes, he has to go into the bathroom to rescue Mrs. Turner from a steam eruption. Turner gets the wrong idea and tries to punch him. Roger beats Turner up, but Turner is too drunk to remember, and Stan gets the job.
• Roger tells Byron that the floozie next door is schizophrenic.

In the end, they all have fun, and the family is getting along much better. They book the cottage for a month the next summer.

What I liked about it: Jimmy Stewart. He’s great. The bird watching bit was almost, but not quite too stupid to be funny. It was annoying that Turner kept misidentifying birds, but I realize that’s part of the joke. (The Great Blue Heron they saw looked like it was tied down.)

What I didn’t like about it: It took me a while to like it because I generally don’t care for movies that are supposed to be funny about people being miserable. I also didn’t care for the way the Hobbs allowed their younger children to be rude and disobedient.

Bottom line: I gave it a 7.

Other comments: Those weren’t Barn Swallows.
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