Chevy Chase, Tupac, and Dan Aykroyd as a 106-year-old judge mix those up and what do you get? The answer is Nothing But Trouble. The 1991 comedy Nothing But Trouble also stars John Candy and is currently seeing some unlikely renewed success in the world of streaming, having broken into the Top ten most-watched films this week on Hulu.
Nothing But Trouble centers on Chevy Chase’s (Fletch, Community) stock market millionaire Chris Thorne and Demi Moore’s (G.I. Jane, Ghost) investment lawyer Diane Lightson who when headed to Atlantic City, take a wrong turn and get after a number of traffic violations by a cop, played by John Candy (Uncle Buck, Cool Runnings). Candy presents Thorne and Lightson to a 106-year-old judge played by Dan Aykroyd under heavy and grotesque prosthetics. Dan Aykroyd’s Judge is the grandfather to John Candy’s cop, the pair of them part of the eccentric and poverty-stricken Valkenheiser family, residents of the remote Valkenvania town, imaginative names all around. Judge Alvin Valkenheiser submits Thorne and Lightson to a series of perverse and twisted punishments, the pair desperately spend the course of the movie trying to escape. If that doesn’t sound weird enough, there is even a musical number featuring The Digital Underground, among them Rap Icon Tupac Shakur. You can see the bizarre scene below.
Perhaps Tupac’s involvement in Nothing But Trouble is what has caused the film to perform strongly on Hulu, as if critical reception were to be an indicator of streaming success, then nobody would be watching this film. John Candy and co do not perform strongly on critical aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, with the film suffering a paltry critics score of 13%. Then general critics’ consensus is particularly scathing, saying; “There’s nothing good in Nothing But Trouble, a grotesque comedy that is more likely to make audiences ill than make them laugh.” As recommendations go, it looks like Rotten Tomatoes are saying stay well and truly away. However, Hulu’s viewers have paid no heed to this critical derision and as well as Tupac being a potential draw, perhaps the whole cast of the movie has something to say about the film’s positive reception on streaming.
John Candy had a roller-coaster comedy movie career that saw him have some lows, Nothing But Trouble among them, and some incredible highs such as Planes, Trains And Automobiles, Spaceballs, Uncle Buck and Cool Runnings. These high points make Candy an instantly recognizable name despite his career being tragically cut short by a heart attack in 1994. Candy’s castmates are also comedy heavyweights. Dan Akroyd is of course a famed member of the iconic Ghostbusters and Chevy Chase is a name synonymous with comedy, from Fletch to National Lampoon’s Vacation and the hit sitcom Community. Demi Moore is also a huge Hollywood name and is no outcast in the esteemed company on display in Nothing But Trouble. Star power is on full display here and with Nothing But Trouble being more than 30 years in the rear-view mirror, it very well could be these iconic faces (albeit Dan Aykroyd’s hidden under pudgy prosthetics) that is drawing all the Hulu viewers in, especially those too young to have borne the brunt of critics’ fury upon the film’s initial release.
John Candy and Nothing But Trouble are also in esteemed company on the Hulu charts. Currently at the top is Tom Hardy and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, followed by the biggest film of 2022 so far, The Batman. The fact that Nothing But Trouble finds itself uttered in the same breath as these two massive franchise films of recent times goes to show the unpredictable nature of home cinema viewing across streaming. Of course, such is the extensive catalogue on offer on streaming services these days, its not just in the most watched films that you can find something worth watching. If you wish to look beyond the divisive works of John Candy, Collider recently offered a comprehensive look at the best film’s to watch on Hulu. The list features 40 films in total ranging from Oscar darlings such as Nightmare Alley and Spencer to indie comedy hits such as Andy Samberg starring Palm Springs. So, if like critics, you find Nothing But Trouble hard to stomach, there is plenty else on offer.