“The House” Just Isn’t Funny

The House

“The House” is directed by Andrew Jay Cohen and stars Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, and Jason Mantzoukas.  The film is about two parents who cannot pay for their daughter’s expensive college tuition, so they decide the best course of action is to create an underground casino in order to pay it off.

I was not all that excited about this movie as the trailers did not seem to hold all that much potential, but I will always go into a Will Ferrell comedy with some hope.  Sure, he hasn’t had a hit in a while, but this is the same guy who shined in “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights”, so I know he has the capability.  This is also an R-rated comedy, so maybe Ferrell, with the help of Poehler, could get back into his old self.

The Good

The R rating does help make many scenes a lot funnier than they would have been if the movie had played it completely safe.  Scenes of blood and vulgarity are really some of the only highlights that this movie has, so it is nice to see that the film at least went a bit out there to get the comedy that many other movies of this style would not have gone for.

Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler are okay in the film, but I thought that they had excellent chemistry between them, and it made the film more entertaining when the two would play off each other.  I also found Jason Mantzoukas to be quite funny, as while he was very hit and miss, his attempts at comedy hit much more than anyone else in the film.

The Bad

This is yet another Will Ferrell comedy that has the same problem: it just isn’t funny.  I love Will Ferrell, I really do, but there are just not enough jokes here that land, as many of the one-liners simply fall flat.  I only laughed a handful of times, and that is just unacceptable for a movie that is supposed to live or die on its comedy.

The premise itself is completely flawed, as there are these things called loans that are available for nearly every single family in the country.  Sure, the movie tries to show that they aren’t accepted for loans in a throwaway line, but that definitely wouldn’t happen, and it bothered me from start to finish.  Still, even if I were to accept this ridiculous idea, this illegal act that the parents do is supposed to be made positive and something that should be rewarded, even though we have seen these parents do completely awful things, and it makes me hope their daughter is forced to drop out more than anything else.

The storyline is just so weak that there never really feels as if there are any stakes in anything that the characters do, and it makes the film as a whole feel totally uninteresting.  These main characters are bad people, and they do bad, illegal things, and while there are numerous movies that make this work, this is not one of them, as instead, I found myself hating the protagonists more than the supposed villain.  Also, totally wasted surprise cameo towards the final third of the movie, totally wasted.

Conclusion

“The House” isn’t a dreadful watch, but it is not a fun one, either, as the comedy is very ineffective, and even some decent performances can’t save a troubled storyline with a poor script.  I can’t say that I hated the film, but “The House” was a movie that totally missed the ball on its comedic elements, and isn’t very strong much of anywhere else, either.

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Get tickets and showtimes for “The House” here

What did you think of “The House”?  Comment below with your thoughts.


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