Screw it, I enjoyed THE HOUSE, and I know I’m in the minority on this one. It’s an 88 minute pure fantasy escapism and I laughed my ass off during it. Guilty pleasure of the year? Possibly. Maybe it was my fun mood while watching it. The fact I got a signed poster on Cinemark Connections of it? I won’t deny that fact. The movie could’ve been longer and so much more, I’ll admit, and it doesn’t use Poehler and Ferrell to their full potential, but I had a lot of fun watching it. Probably wouldn’t work on cable as the R rating is the reason I laughed a lot, but a perfect rental with friends and family.
Premise is simple: A couple doesn’t receive a college grant that the town provides (because the town “ran out” of funds) so their down on their luck friend (that blows money in Vegas with them) turns his house into a casino and gets the entire town hooked on gambling. They try and hide it from a weird ass cop, and two town committee members with sticks up their asses. The movie doesn’t explore every possibility that could go wrong with this scenario but it does do a lot and what transpires I thought was absolutely hilarious.
Yes, there are jokes that fall flat like every comedy, but not as much as the critics think. And rewatching the trailer I think they cut a lot out of the movie, like the strip club thing, and I would love to see if this ends up having an unrated cut with maybe like 10 more minutes added on to the film, at least one could hope. The ending was a bit of a problem for me too. The screenplay takes a predictable easy way out of the couple’s predicament for providing for their daughter for college. It feels with the casino angle they could’ve come up with something more creative.
I didn’t know Jeremy Renner was in this nor noticed his name featured on the poster, and he could’ve been so much better here, and he feels a little wasted, however his last couple of minutes of screen time is rip roaring hilarious. I’m guessing he was walking around the studio lot and they asked him to come film a couple of scenes real quick.
But not much to say other than if you want some great escapism for a short 88 minutes, this will do the trick IMO. I laughed out loud a bunch, I had fun, so did my wife, and I could see myself watching it over and over later on in life. It’s not a classic like Anchorman or Step Brothers for Ferrell, and never reaches the comedic heights of Parks and Recreation for Poehler, but you could do much worse.