When their daughter is accepted into an elite college, Scott and Kate Johansen are dependant on her scholarship to pay the tuition. After the scholarship is cancelled, the Johansen’s team up with their down and out friend Frank and open an underground casino in Frank’s house. As the casino grows, so does the money, which begins to attract attention from the local council and some dangerous people. Directed by Andrew Jay Cohen, The House stars Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell, Allison Tolman, Nick Kroll, Jason Mantzoukas, Rob Huebel, Ryan Simpkins, Andrea Savage, Michaela Watkins, and Sebastian Maniscalco.
The simple way to put it is, The House is not as bad as it could have been but nowhere nears as good as it should have been. With so many talented comics working in front of the camera, the audience should have been in stitches from laughing so much. I am not sure how much blame can be given to the cast, because they were funny, maybe it was just poor writing, or even poor direction, because some of the jokes miss the mark completely. Unfortunately, when they do hit, and there are quite a few that hit, they never reach the level that one would expect from Ferrell or Poehler. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the movie, it was fun.
The premise of The House is an interesting and ridiculous one, but it is not unfamiliar. Over the years there have been comedies and dramas of average people who turn to crime in order to look after their family. One aspect that stood out to me was the relationship between Kate and Scott; they always have each other’s back. This is something not often seen in Hollywood movies, often the couple will fight, look like breaking up and then come back together in the last act. To its credit, The House never looks like breaking up the Johansen family. In fact it brings them closer together. This might not be the strongest point of the movie but it is a positive to see healthy relationships in film.
The House had some funny moments, which you would expect given the talent associated with it, unfortunately there are more flat jokes than the ones that hit. The jokes that miss are also obvious misses, and to make it worse the jokes are attempted several times throughout the film. If you enjoy the comedians and actors in The House, then definitely give it a viewing as it does have some fun elements to it, but do not expect it to reach the comedy heights that the stars are known for.
If you enjoy Ferrell, Poehler and Mantzoukas then you can have some fun with it. If you don’t appreciate their humour, give it a miss.
The House scores a 5.5/10
Thanks for reading my review of The House. Have you seen it? Did you like it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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