Release Date: June 30, 2017
Director: Andrew Jay Cohen
Writer: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Ryan Simpkins
Cast: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas, Ryan Simpkins, Nick Kroll, Allison Tolman, Rob Huebel, Christina Offley, Jessie Ennis, Rory Scovel, Lennon Parham, Cedric Yarbrough, Kyle Kinane, Michaela Watkins, Gillian Vigman, Steve Zissis, Jeremy Renner, Alexandra Daddario, Andy Buckley, Wayne Federman, Ian Roberts, Sam Richardson, Joe Rowley, Jessica St. Clair, Andrea Savage
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 88 minutes
Production Company: Gary Sanchez Productions, Good Universe, New Line Cinema, Village Roadshow Pictures, Warner Bros.
Budget: $40,000,000 (estimated)
Will Ferrell is arguably one of the funniest comedians that will ever be in the entertainment industry. This man was born to make people laugh, and he takes full advantage of it. So, having him alongside the other stars in this film, they should’ve at least had an average comedy on their hands, but this ended up being something else entirely. In this film, something has been done that’s never been done before. New ground is breaking in the realm of film firsts. The House will now be a new textbook example of how a studio and director have no idea what the hell they’re doing! Time will not be wasted here as to how I felt about this film. This was trash. For a film that lasted only 88 minutes, it felt like I was watching the Titanic in slow mo. This was a combination of misguided actors/actresses that didn’t know if they were making an actual film, an SNL sketch, or practicing in costume for the elementary school play. Imagine every actor/actress being high on a different drug while reading a different script that was no longer than an index card, and you have this film.
What’s sad is you have a good story that could’ve come from this idea of struggle the trailers presented. There are many people in the world that have kids and can’t afford to send them to college. It’s a sad truth, but also a running joke in all communities. So, to have a comedy that addresses this issue in a light tone should be a ton of fun. Though in no form is it remotely close to anything positive. The first problem lies within the characters. I’ve never seen this amount of people on screen that didn’t have chemistry. Scott & Kate Johansen (Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler) are a married couple that appear to be disgruntled co-workers, while their daughter Alex (Ryan Simpkins) doesn’t fit the age they’re trying to convey. Every single other character in the film isn’t a character, but rather an over exaggerated caricature of over the top personalities that have no function in the real world. When the credits roll, I wouldn’t be surprised if instead of the cast having real names for their film roles it only read, asshole, jerk, naïve, sour, obnoxious, bitter, jealous, angry, sad, etc... Each role only catered these characteristics turned up to blasting levels of stupidity, all in the aim of trying to be funny when it’s not. Everyone is over reaching with every line of dialogue, as if they had no prep time at all.
This film also isn’t the next action adventure flick either. So the constant use of moving camera shots throughout the film was an unnecessary distraction. During table conversations or other simplistic scenes, the first-time director Andrew Jay Cohen, went into overdrive with all the new toys he had. He could’ve at least thought out logically how this plot would’ve worked, but he didn’t in desperate need for laughs. The premise of the film is a married couple is in desperate need for funds and start an underground casino to raise money. The problem is, within the film they address being secret about it, but don’t ever explain how mountains of equipment can be snuck in and outside of the house. The whole set up is virtually impossible in every way, shape, and form, but I guess the director wanted us to just roll with it.
What’s so alarming is it feels like the studio was aiming to make a bad film. Given what they released, there’s no other logical conclusion to come to. If their attempt was to make a film that’s so bad it’s good then they failed miserably. This fails as a satire, a spoof, or anything they tried to pull off. This film isn’t so bad it’s good, it’s so bad it hurts.
At points in the film the shit gets so ridiculous you would consider eating it than to watch anymore. I now have a life goal to find out what the studio was thinking when they green lit this piece of garbage. Never in my life have I seen such unrealistic characters, in such unrealistic situations, that have no clue what what is. This film isn’t only one of the worst of the year, but the worst that’s ever been released in film history. What comes to mind while writing this is that the famous quote from Billy Madison (1995) towards the end addresses this film (look it up). Everyone involved in the mess should be ashamed of themselves and probably need debriefing after this nightmare.