BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Brewster’s Millions (1985)

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So much money to spend, so little time.  BQB here with a review of the 1980s classic, “Brewsters Millions.”

What’s the best way to break yourself of a disgusting habit?  To do it to excess until you’re completely sick of it.

Montgomery Brewster (Richard Pryor) and his buddy Spike (John Candy) are a couple of bums who play on a lousy, broken down, minor league New Jersey baseball team.

As luck would have it, Monty’s long estranged Uncle Rupert (Hume Cronyn) kicks the bucket, and in his will, leaves Monty with a quite a challenge.  Uncle Rupert recalls a time when he caught Monty smoking a cigar as a boy.  Uncle Rupert forced Monty to smoke all the cigars in the box until he got sick, thus making it so Monty would never want to smoke again.

Thus, the point of the challenge is clear.  Uncle Rupert put a lot of work into making $300 million dollars and he doesn’t want to leave it to an idiot who will squander it.  So, he challenges Monty to spend $30 million in one month, the idea being that by the end of the month, Monty will become so disgusted by the idea of money being wasted that he will become a stalwart caretaker of the remaining fortune.

More catches – Monty can’t tell anyone about the deal, so he has to deal with everyone thinking he is an idiot for spending his inheritance of 30 million so recklessly.

Further, he must spend the 30 million completely and have no assets left behind.  He can’t just by a $30 million house or something that he can convert back to cash at the end of the whole ordeal.

Thus, this leads to so many flunkies on his payroll.  A personal photographer.  A money manager who gets $100,000 a week.  A personal marching band.  Oh, and he spends it on fun.  He finance a game between his lousy team and the Yankees.  He buys rare bottles of champagne and drinks them.  He funds a campaign to ask New Yorkers to not vote for anyone for mayor because both candidates are stupid.

The highlight of the film comes when Monty buys a rare, 1.2 million dollar stamp.  The villainous banker types who want Monty to fail so they can get Uncle Rupert’s money laugh because they believe Monty has just bought an asset…until they get a postcard from Monty with the rare, cancelled stamp on the card.

It’s a lot of fun to watch as Monty comes up with new ways to waste cash, and the idea that taking your worst habit to the extreme might help you to hit the rock bottom you need to hit in order to avoid doing the habit forever is intriguing.

Makes me sad that Pryor and Candy are both long dead before their time.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy

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