The Mister and I both had been told that “Bernie” was a must-see. I’d read that it was an odd, interesting movie, but I was hesitant when I saw that Jack Black starred as the title character. I’m still trying to get the awful taste of “Gulliver’s Travels” out of my mouth, so I put off pushing the Mister to see it.
I’m glad that he was the one who wanted to see “Bernie” last Saturday. It’s definitely a black comedy that just about defines the word “quirky.” Fortunately, this isn’t a typical Jack Black flick.
Based on a true story, Bernie Tiede, an assistant funeral director, is a popular fella in the small town of Carthage, Texas (which is where the Mister’s aunt and uncle once lived, by the way). He befriends a wealthy widow, Majorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine), who no one else can stand, because she’s so darned mean (reminds me of a Taylor Swift song).
Sidebar: Of course, I interrupted my typing to watch the “Mean” video. Love that song! Hope Taylor doesn’t go all Lindsay Lohan as she ages.
Anyway, Bernie gets too involved with Majorie, who becomes more and more demanding. Finally, things come to a head, and the movie takes an interesting turn.
The acting is excellent in “Bernie,” starting with . . . surprise, surprise! . . . Jack Black. He absolutely nails Bernie, bringing him to life. You feel like you really know this big teddy bear of a guy. Plus he’s a wonderful singer. Shirley MacLaine can play a mean, old lady in her sleep. Matthew McConaughey is great as Danny Buck, the district attorney.
But the Mister and I especially loved the actors who portrayed the townspeople. They were hilarious! “Bernie” is worth seeing just for how those in east Texas view the rest of our state. Richard Linklater, who co-wrote and directed the movie, is from east Texas, and you can tell he genuinely cares about its residents.
“Bernie” is on its way out of the theater circuit, so it might be hard to see on the big screen. But it’s definitely worth renting once out on DVD.
If you like quirky, then you’ll appreciate “Bernie.”