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Son in Law
Directed by Steve Rash
Produced by Peter M. Lenkov
Michael Rotenberg
Written by Patrick Clifton
Susan McMartin
Peter M. Lenkov
Fax Bahr
Adam Small
Shawn Schepps
Starring Pauly Shore
Carla Gugino
Lane Smith
Cindy Pickett
Tiffani Thiessen
Brendan Fraser
Music by Richard Gibbs
Cinematography Peter Deming
Editing by Dennis M. Hill
Distributed by Hollywood Pictures
Release date(s) July 2, 1993
Running time 95 min.
Language English

Son in Law is a 1993 film starring Pauly Shore, Carla Gugino, Lane Smith, Cindy Pickett, Tiffani Thiessen and Brendan Fraser.



South Dakota farm girl Rebecca "Becca" Warner (Carla Gugino) has just graduated from high school as the valedictorian, and she has decided that she'll go to college at UCLA. Becca's parents Walter (Lane Smith) and Connie (Cindy Pickett), and especially her boyfriend Travis (Dan Gauthier), don't really want to see her go to college so far away.

Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Becca experiences some culture shock both in the city and in her dorm. She meets her resident advisor Crawl (Pauly Shore), an eccentric perpetual student who shows her around. Becca's roommate is a lesbian and has a girlfriend, and Becca sees them affectionately kissing each other.

Becca is overwhelmed and ready to go back home after just a few days at UCLA. But Crawl convinces her to stay and give the city a chance. She does, and it works its magic.

Becca embraces her new surroundings and gives herself a makeover, buying new clothes in SoCal fashion, cuts and dyes her hair, and even gets a tattoo, and she starts spending what little free time she has left rollerblading like a maniac.

Soon, however, she's faced with returning to the farm over Thanksgiving Break, and there is the thought of an almost-certain marriage proposal from Travis, which fills Becca with mixed emotions. Becca impulsively invites Crawl to come home with her for Thanksgiving.

Needless to say, Becca's family and Travis are shocked by her new lifestyle and appearance. Walter, Connie, Becca's younger brother Zack (Patrick Renna), Grandpa Walter Sr. (Mason Adams), Travis, and farm hand Theo (Dennis Burkley) regard Crawl first as an object of curiosity, then scorn.

When Travis -- who has his eyes on Becca's best friend Tracy (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen) -- tries to pounce, Becca panics, and Crawl comes to the rescue by announcing his own engagement to Becca, with whom he's in love.

Walter is outraged -- especially after Crawl announces his plans to take over the family farm after Walter retires -- and Travis punches Crawl in the nose, giving Crawl a bloody nose.

Zack is won over when Crawl helps him with a computer software problem. And Becca actually starts falling in love with Crawl. Walter sics Theo on Crawl, and under the guise of training, Theo puts Crawl through numerous farm tortures, from pitching manure to slopping the hogs. But rather than wilting, Crawl takes to farm living in a big way, actually enjoying it.

Walter and Crawl eventually get to have a heart-to-heart talk while fishing, and when Grandpa Walter Sr. has a heart attack, Crawl attempts CPR to save him. Afterwords, Walter and Grandpa Walter Sr. accept him.

Travis, who is still interested in Tracy, tries to break up Becca and Crawl's engagement, with Theo's help, by drugging Crawl and Tracy, and then placing an unconscious Crawl and Tracy beside each other in the barn to make it look like they slept with each other.

Becca finds them in the morning, and jumps to that exact conclusion. She tells Crawl to leave, and it's not until Tracy tries to drive her car that she notices that something is wrong. Tracy's seat is scooted way back, as if to accommodate a much larger driver, like Theo, and Tracy immediately deduces what happened the previous night.

Tracy and Crawl enter the Thanksgiving dinner at the Warner Farm with this evidence. Tracy tells the Warners what Travis and Theo did. It isn't long before Theo admits to the deed, and implicates Travis as well. Walter tells Travis and Theo to leave the farm and never come back. In self-defense, Crawl uses martial arts on Travis, and Travis and Theo leave.

Becca and Crawl reconcile, and the family now wholly embraces Crawl as one of their own, as everyone, including Tracy, sits down to continue to enjoy Thanksgiving.


Actor Role
Pauly Shore Fred/"Crawl"
Carla Gugino Rebecca "Becca" Warner
Lane Smith Walter Warner
Cindy Pickett Connie Warner
Mason Adams Walter Warner, Sr.
Patrick Renna Zack Warner
Tiffani Thiessen Tracy
Dan Gauthier Travis
Dennis Burkley Theo
Brendan Fraser Link (uncredited)


  • Brendan Fraser makes an appearance at Crawl's Halloween party. He is playing the same character Link as he did in the film Encino Man. Crawl says "Great costume!", looks at him curiously after Link bites into a frog, then shakes it off and says "Nah!"
  • The tattoo that Becca gets in Los Angeles is actually Carla Gugino's real, pre-existing tattoo.
  • The opening title sequence and graduation ceremony scene were filmed at Wasco Union High School, located in Wasco, CA
  • Carla Gugino and Pauly Shore later both appear in an episode of the HBO series Entourage.
  • The promotional poster for the film is a parody of the painting American Gothic.
  • Wasco Union High School is known as Wasco Tigers, not the Lincoln Tigers as shown in the film.
  • The tattooist is actually musician Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers fame), though he is not credited.
  • Dan Gauthier and Tiffani Thiessen also appeared together in the TV movie Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style. Carla Gugino also appeared on an early episode of the Saved by the Bell TV series (entitled "Good Morning, Miss Bliss" at the time.)
  • Disc jockey Mark Osgood can be seen skateboarding by the tattoo shop as Pauly and Carla are walking in.
  • Only the opening title sequence and graduation ceremony scene were filmed in Wasco, CA

External links

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