DVD Review: Fletch:The Jane Doe Edition

Fletch (1985) Directed by Michael Ritchie

What do Ted Nugent, Igor Stravinski, Harry S. Truman, Jane Doe, Mr. Babar, Mr. Poon, Dr. Rosenpenis, Dr. Rosenrosen, Dr. Rosen, John Kocktoastone, and Fletch F. Fletch have in common?

Answer: Irwin M. Fletcher.

Having watched Fletch 3,452 (squared x Pi to the Nth power) times, I was going just watch the extras and throw some words together and call it a night. But I watched the 2 documentaries and one “Best of Fletch” tidbit, and had to watch the whole thing again.

As it turned out, I STILL love this movie! Clark W. Griswald was funny, sure; but in a doofus-y way. Irwin M. Fletcher, or “Fletch,” is funny in the cool, everything under control way. As one of the people interviewed for the two included documentaries says, “Fletch says smart-aleck remarks that if we were in the same situation we’d think of, 5 or 10 minutes later, and say, ‘aw, I should have said this…’”

Fletch (the movie) is based on Gregory McDonald’s series of books about an investigative reporter … and Fletch (the book) purists hated the film. Fletch the book purists=GEEKS. *****Much like the people who get upset if Spiderman, of the comics, has his hair parted on the right, but in the movie it is parted on the left, they FREAK OUT.***** I quote The Shat: “Get out of your mother’s basement and GET A LIFE!” I realize I might be ostracizing the one person who reads my reviews (Sorry Glen, but seriously, you should move out and let your mom have a social life) but it had to be said.

In the movie, Fletch goes undercover on the beach to expose a drug ring; while there, he is approached by Tim Matheson who wants Fletch (using the alias Ted Nugent) to kill him…and well, that is it; Fletch investigates, and wackiness and hilarity ensue. Included in the supporting cast are Matheson, Gina “Pre-Oscar” Davis, M. Emmet Walsh, Joe Don Baker, George Wendt, and Dana Wheeler-Nicholson.

Is Fletch a great movie? No. Will it go down in history as the funniest movie of all time? No. (But I suppose if Borat can, anything is possible). But if all you remember Chevy Chase best for the not-so-good movies he has made in the last…um…20 years, you NEED to see this movie. I watched it again, on my laptop, in a cigar bar, with earphones, and still almost peed my pants when Chevy–posing as a doctor–gets called in to assist in an autopsy. I am giggling just thinking about it.

A side note: I used to LOVE this movie back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but now thanks to The Simpsons, I cannot look at the word “Fletch” with out changing around two of the letters and getting a visual of Chevy that will haunt me the rest of my life.

Randy Otteson
For more reviews by Randy, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.
Click here to order Fletch (The Jane Doe Edition) from Amazon.