First Family - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

First Family Reviews

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May 13, 2011
Sometimes, I ask this question, "do I really want to see this entire film?" If so, it's gonna to be next to impossible to track down without paying an arm and a leg for a worn-out vintage VHS or Beta copy. I think from the 20 minutes I have seen on TV (circa 1996), I didn't laugh or enjoyed it. And I am a avid fan of Gilda Radner and Buck Henry too. But Bob Newhart simply played the wrong role as the main character. This movie is just plain wrong.
½ July 22, 2010
Should have been great, with Buck Henry and the amazing cast. But it wasn't... (although the last 10 minutes were amazing, how strange is that?)
January 13, 2008
Oh my, Gilda and Madeline?! I have to see this!
½ November 8, 2007
I have never really understood the mythos of Buck Henry. I know the man hosted SNL a bazillion times and that Jon Stewart, among others, worships at his alter. Yet for me, his humour has always been to much of a reach. I don't like seeing the sweat behind the laughs.

Henry wrote and directed this 'satire' of a US President, his controlling wife and their horny virgin of a 28 year old daughter. The film tries for all kinds of laughs, from a racist take on an African nation to the fact that 30 million Americans voted for the dead corpses of the opponents in the election. Yet none of these jokes really fly. This film was made in 1980 and yet it reeks of 70's Chevy Chase-ish, Ford era broadness. The majority of the jokes worked for me.

Bob Newhart does the best he can with a duller than dull role; Gilda Radner is funny in some scenes, but overall rather one-note; and Madeliene Kahn is great as ever in her small role as the First Lady, if only she had been given more to work with.

As for the support staff, Fred Willard is a standout, and it is pretty fun to see him in his heyday. As well, Rip Torn is kind of attractive 27 years ago.

This film tries to be a Mel Brooks style comedy, but it comes up short and is ultimately fairly lackluster.
½ April 24, 2007
Insultingly stupid comedy and a very sad waste of a talented comedic cast. Gilda Radner is particularly bad, Bob Newhart's brand of humor doesn't work in this one and Madeline Kahn deserves much better material than this.
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