Plot: In the wake of his mother’s death, Fred (Bobcat Goldthwait) finds himself the new owner of half of the brokerage firm he works at, but his stepfather Walter (Dabney Coleman) has the other half. Walter despises Fred and plots to somehow take over Fred’s half of the corporation, but he doesn’t just want to own it, he wants to make sure Fred gets as little as possible in the process. Meanwhile, Fred has another part of his inheritance, a horse named Don (voice by John Candy) and while Don isn’t much to look at, he has some special skills. Fred doubts his own sanity even more than usual when Don first speaks to him, but soon the two strike up a friendship and Don even shares some of his wisdom about the stock market. But will these stock tips pay off and can Fred somehow settle the score with the odorous Walter?
Entertainment Value: This one was crushed by critics and audiences when first released and while it has picked up some fans over the years, it remains a mostly overlooked movie. I can’t argue that Hot to Trot is a good movie in the typical ways, but I think it is hilarious nonetheless, sometimes as intended and others just because of how outlandish the movie is. I mean, an 80s comedy that stars Bobcat Goldthwait as a loser who befriends a talking horse, the horse is a Wall Street genius, and the two conspire to take down Dabney Coleman, who sports some of the most ridiculous fake teeth ever seen on screen? This is pure madness, a bizarre comedic experience that most of those involved have distanced themselves from, but I still think it has a lot of entertainment value and if nothing else, just has to be seen to be believed. I can totally understand why some viewers would be horrified or just outright confused by this one, however, as it is more than a little odd. But for anyone who appreciates 80s madness, off the wall comedies, or the idea of Bobcat Goldthwait having an adventure with a horse, Hot to Trot is worth a look.
I can’t imagine anyone else in the role of Fred, as Bobcat Goldthwait goes for broke and delivers his usual madman comedic performance. He is even the straight man here to an extent, so he comes off more like a nervous wreck than an anti-social lunatic, but he still gets across his unique brand of humor. Few people could argue with a horse and have it be this natural and believable, but Bobcat is able to make such an oddball premise seem normal. John Candy provides the voice over for Don the horse and from what I have read, it seems as though he improvised most of the lines. I wouldn’t call this some of his best work, but Candy’s natural charm shines through and he gets some laughs, so he adds a lot to the movie. Also on hand is Dabney Coleman with the aforementioned ridiculous fake teeth and he hams it up like mad, giving us an over the top 80s villain that is fun to watch. The cast also includes Virginia Madsen, Tim Kazurinsky, and Cindy Pickett. If you’re a fan of the cast here, you should have some laughs at how wild the performers go with this silly concept.