When looking at John Hughes’ body of work, there are so many classics to choose from. Most people will call out Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, or Sixteen Candles when discussing the films he directed, and those are all great films. For my money though, the film that gets the least love is Uncle Buck.
John Candy is perfect as the titular uncle, thrown into a situation he really isn’t prepared for. When his sister in-law’s father suffers a heart attack and they need someone to look after the kids they, begrudgingly (when all else fails) and with GREAT trepidation, call in Uncle Buck. To say he is rough around the edges would be a slight understatement what with his drinking, smoking and current lack of employment.
The younger kids are ecstatic to see this new “authority” figure around, including Macaulay Culkin just 1 year before the world knew him in home alone.
‘He’s cooking us garbage!!’
His older angst riddled niece however is not…to say the least.
Buck however may just have a few tricks up his sleeve, and he may just end up being exactly what this family needs. Eventually Buck, through embarrassing her to within an inch of her life (but always having her back), turns Tia and sets her from the path of destruction she was on.
‘The backfire’s a bitch!’
In one of the best scenes in the film, Buck DESTROYS the crotchety old assistant principal after she condemns his 6 year old niece’s for being a dreamer and not taking her career as a student seriously.
‘Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face.’
In the end, this heartwarming tale although clichéd will have even the hardest soul smiling just a little bit, and that is really the magic of film.
Uncle Buck (1989)
John Candy shines in a role made for him, if you’re a fan of John Hughes you need to see this sometimes overlooked gem.