Tommy Boy (1995)


Tommy Boy is a 1995 comedy film directed by Peter Segal, written by Bonnie and Terry Turner, and Fred Wolf, and starring former Saturday Night Live colleagues David Spade and Chris Farley, in the title role. The film tells the story of a socially and emotionally immature man who learns lessons about friendship and self-worth following the sudden death of his industrialist father. The film did well commercially, but the critics, on average, did not favor it. Callahan Motors of Sandusky, Ohio was also given credit in a small portion of Adam Sandler's "50 First Dates". It is mentioned when Dr. Keats (Dan Aykroyd) explains the funding for the hospital comes from T.B. Callahan out of Sandusky, Ohio.


At Marquette University, Thomas R. "Tommy" Callahan III (Chris Farley) barely graduates after seven years and returns home to Sandusky, Ohio. His proud father, industrialist and widower Thomas "Big Tom" Callahan Jr. (Brian Dennehy), gives him an executive job at the family's auto parts plant, Callahan Auto. In addition to the job and a new office, Big Tom reveals another surprise for his son: a woman he met at a fat farm, Beverly Barish-Burns (Bo Derek). They are to be married soon, and as a consequence, Tommy will have a stepbrother, Beverly's son Paul (Rob Lowe). Big Tom dies from a sudden heart attack at the wedding reception. After the funeral, the bank reneges on promises of a loan for a new brake pad division, the key to Big Tom's strategy for the company. Doubting the future of the company without Big Tom, the bank seeks payment of Callahan Auto's current debts. In a move that surprises even himself, Tommy offers a deal: If Tommy offers his small number of inherited shares as collateral and if he sells enough orders for brake pads to prove the new division's viability, the bank should grant the loan. The bankers agree, and set Tommy's goal at proven sales of 500,000 brake pads. The bankers remind Tommy, should he fail, the bank will use its ownership stake to convince the board of directors to sell the company. Tommy sets out on a cross-nation sales trip with his father's former assistant, Richard Hayden (David Spade). Richard, a childhood friend, is jealous of Tommy's ability to be lazy and yet be rewarded, but agrees to hit the road in a last-ditch effort to save the company. Meanwhile, Beverly and Paul are shown kissing romantically. They are not mother and son, but married con artists with criminal records. Their plan to steal from Big Tom has paid off early and handsomely. Instead of eventually suing for divorce and taking half of Big Tom's estate, Beverly has inherited controlling interest of the company. To turn that into cash, she seeks a sale to self-described "auto parts king" Ray Zalinsky (Dan Aykroyd). On the road, Tommy's social awkwardness and hyperactivity alienate several potential buyers. These failures lead to fighting between Tommy and Richard. But when Tommy persuades a surly waitress to serve him after the kitchen has closed, he finds his confidence. The pair mend their friendship and make their sales goal. However, Paul sabotages the company's computers. Sales posted by sales manager Michelle Brock (Julie Warner) are lost or rerouted. Customers lose confidence and cancel orders. The bank, backed by Beverly, decides to sell Callahan Auto to Zalinsky. On the eve of the sale, Zalinsky does not hide his plans: He only wants the goodwill connected with the Callahan brand name. He will shut down the company and lay off its 300 workers. Now believing themselves to be consummate salesmen, Tommy and Richard travel to Chicago to persuade Zalinsky to drop the deal. In Chicago, Tommy and Richard are quickly kicked out of the Zalinsky board room, as Tommy has no standing. On the curb, Tommy and Richard wallow on the curb in self-pity, until Michelle arrives with Paul and Beverly's police records. Tommy devises a 'plan:' Tommy dresses himself as a bogus suicide bomber with road flares from a nearby construction site and forces his way back into the board room. His antics attract a live news TV camera crew which films the scene. In Sandusky, Callahan workers watch the drama on a conveniently placed television. Addressing Zalinsky and the Callahan board, Tommy reveals his deception. But he also quotes the auto king's own advertising claim to be on the side of the "American working man." As a TV audience watches, Zalinsky signs Tommy's purchase order for "half-a-million" brake pads. Workers in Sandusky cheer. The TV crew, thinking the story dramatically concluded, leaves the scene. Zalinsky says that the purchase order is meaningless, as he will soon own Callahan Auto. However, Michelle shows her police documents, which includes Paul's outstanding warrants for fraud. The group around the table works through the logic together: Since Beverly is still married to Paul, her marriage to Big Tom was never valid. Beverly could not inherit control of the company and thus, the shares actually belong to Tommy. Since Tommy does not want to sell, the deal with Zalinsky is off. And, since Tommy still holds Zalinsky's purchase order, the company is saved. Paul attempts an escape, but is arrested. Zalinsky admits that Tommy outplayed him and invites Beverly to dinner. And, in a happy ending, Tommy is introduced to the employees in Sandusky as the new leader of Callahan Auto.