In the tiny town of Carthage, Texas, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede is one of the town's most beloved residents. Bernie befriends Marjorie Nugent, a sour and affluent older widow. Soon Bernie and Marjorie become inseparable and Marjorie becomes very dependent on Bernie, stifling his extroverted personality. Bernie is forced to quit his job and philanthropic activities in the community, leaving him deflated. Then things suddenly get better for Bernie and he seems his old generous self, while Marjorie is mysteriously absent. When Marjorie is discovered to have been dead for months Bernie Tiede is charged with murder, to the great surprise of the local community.
From the director of SCHOOL OF ROCK and DAZED AND CONFUSED comes a hilarious and intelligent film based on real life events that astonished the people of Carthage and made them band together in support of their small-town "hero". Starring Jack Black (TROPIC THUNDER), Shirley MacLaine (TERMS OF ENDEARMENT) and Matthew McConaughey (THE LINCOLN LAWYER) BERNIE is the story of everyone's favourite killer and how he almost got away with murder.
I wanted to borrow this as I had seen the trailer a couple of times and thought that it looked like a fun film. Well, it was ok, but nothing great, and certainly not a film that I would go out of my way to watch again. It was interesting to watch this movie and then go online to read what comes up when you search Bernie Tiede. Whilst Wikipedia tells the story of a man who alienates Marjorie, this film, Bernie, tells a story where Marjorie slowly drives Bernie to the point of murder.
The film is done kind of like a documentary with dramatization. You have interviews with people who lived in the town (some are actors, some are those who live in Carthage) and between that you have the story from Bernie's side of things slowly unfolding. We go right from the start, where he befriends Marjorie, to a couple of years later where he kills her, and then goes on trial for her death nine months later.
Whilst Jack Black was flawless as Bernie (even going so far as to talk to the man himself for inspiration etc.) The movie ended up feeling like it was dragging it's toes a bit. There were some laughs through the film, but I would have it lean towards more of a drama than a comedy, simply because for me, it wasn't that funny.
All in all it was a good movie, but I don't need to see it more than once.
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"A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)