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JOHN CANDY GETS HIS OWN FLETCH IN 'WHO'S HARRY CRUMB?'

VHS/DVD Slip-Cover YEAR: 1989 Score: ***1/2
This underrated comedy, with the title-character going from place to place to figure out who kidnapped a rich man's gorgeous daughter, learning he's inept at filling the shoes at his family-owned detective agency while always screwing things up, is an enjoyable time-filler...

It's John Candy's FLETCH and, while paling to the Chevy Chase classic (yet far superior to FLETCH LIVES), both wear disguises for each undercover scenario, taking the Film Noir gumshoe/snoop template into the bright and glossy late-1980s (there's even a mini orange tree on Harry's desk, a subtle nod to CHINATOWN)...

The funniest moments don't seem intentional like the forced Peter Sellers style physical gags, especially as Crumb flounders for the right words around comparably classy, educated tricksters (like Annie Potts and snobby villain Jeffrey Jones). And despite the overall humor being hit and miss, the eclectic RUTHLESS PEOPLE style characters interact well, especially the unique and flowing chemistry between Candy and "ugly duckling" Shawnee Smith as the younger sister of the kidnapped supermodel. And beware of the totally awesome video rental cover (shown above): it's merely a flimsy cardboard slip-cover over the actual DVD/Blu Ray with same artwork sans the retro VHS gimmick.  
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