Fletch writes as "Jane Doe," and Jane needs a new story. For this, he takes on the role of a vagrant living on the beach, where he researches illicit drug deals taking place. It turns out, though, that Fletch may have bitten off more than he can chew.
A wealthy businessman named Alan Stanwyk approaches Fletch (as the bum) and makes him an offer no man could refuse: Stanwyk has terminal cancer and wants Fletch to kill him, simultaneously putting him out of his misery and allowing his wife to collect the insurance money. In return, he'll give Fletch $50,000 and a ticket out of the country. Fletch is naturally suspicious, and soon discovers a connection between Stanwyk, the local chief of police, and his drug investigation.
Fletch is everything an '80s comedy should be: hokey in all the right ways, with some classic one-liners and the necessarily cheesy music. It's intriguing and not so predictable that viewers don't feel the need to see it through to the end. Chase is, of course, a charmer, delivering his lines with characteristic dryness and wit; the supporting cast, led by Tim Matheson, Joe Don Baker, Geena Davis, and George Wendt are excellent as well. Overall, Fletch is a great movie for those days when you just need something lighthearted. And look for the prequel, which is rumored to be coming out in 2011.