First off, from all available information, Chevy Chase is a dick.
This is observable in the reactions of anyone who has ever worked with him has had, his interesting public behavior, and the fact that he doesn’t appear in the “making of” documentary for Fletch, even though he’s cited it as his best loved role.
Why is this important in a micro-review of Fletch, the 1985 film? Because Chevy Chase is a charming dick, and he is at his best when he is playing a charming dick on the small or large screens.
Irwin Fletcher, better known as “Fletch”, is also a charming dick, so that’s fortunate.
It’s strange to watch a cult classic film from 1985, nearly 30 years later. It almost feels like watching a period piece that gets it exceptionally correct with all the little details, like the Coors can that Fletch drinks out of, but doesn’t dwell on them like a movie that is merely set 30 years ago would. (Other strange details that pop out to a Watcher From The Future; the cars are all short. There are no SUVs or minivans on the streets. The televisions are all tiny. The lady’s hair is all HUGE.)
Fletch is an amusing movie, but not drop dead funny. Very quotable, though, which explains why I recognized some ten or twenty lines as they were said. But more than the banter is Chevy Chase’s gift for physical comedy. There’s a bit where he gets his head stuck in a hanging lamp that is delightfully underplayed.
The plot is a nice combination of whodunit and intrigue sprinkled with opportunities for Chevy to goof around. It reminded me of the flavor of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Fletch really holds up, even for those people who have never seen it, and don’t have rose-colored glasses on. Four out of five proctologist’s fingers.