“Weekend at Bernie’s” makes two mistakes: It gives us a joke that isn’t very funny, and it expects the joke to carry an entire movie.
It’s a decision that leads to some long, dreary sequences and a certain desperation on the part of the actors.
The movie tells the story of two interchangeable, unremarkable young men (played by Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman) who work for an insurance company. They discover that someone is stealing from the company and take their discoveries to Bernie, their boss (Terry Kiser), who is, in fact, the thief. He invites them to his summer home on an island, where he plans to have them killed. But first someone kills Bernie.
The young executives are frightened, and don’t know what to do. They prop Bernie on a couch in the living room, and just then a floating party of weekend drunks drifts in - and nobody notices that Bernie is dead. This leads to a macabre weekend in which the hapless Bernie is carted around everywhere, apparently alive. He visits the beach and even goes boating, all as part of a desperate plot by the two heroes to conceal his death until they can find out who’s trying to kill them.