Thursday, June 29, 2017

Movie Review: The House (2017)

The House (2017) - Directed by Andrew Jay Cohen; Written by Brendan O'Brien, Andrew Jay Cohen; Starring Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas, Ryan Simpkins, Nick Kroll, Rob Huebel, Michaela Watkins, Allison Tolman, Rory Scovel, Lennon Parham.

By Kenny Howell

The House deals with a realistic problem, putting a kid through a college, and puts it in an absurdist world where no one ever faces any consequences, but it only goes there when it needs a laugh.

When it doesn't, it heads back to reality land, and it ends up this weird mixture of absurdism and real life that does generate laughs just because of the talent, but leaves it feeling a bit distant.

The story is Will Ferrell (Daddy's Home) and Amy Poehler (Sisters) play a married couple, Scott and Kate, who are sending their only daughter Alex, played by Ryan Simpkins (A Single Man), to Bucknell University. She has earned a scholarship through the town they live in Fox Meadows, but that is revoked when a dick councilman, played by Nick Kroll (Loving) of course, pulls the scholarship so he can build multiple pools in the city.

That leaves Scott and Kate scrambling to find cash. They try to get out of going to Las Vegas with their recently separated and very depressed friend Frank, Jason Mantzoukas (How to Be Single) in a much bigger role than he usually gets, but he talks him into going anway. After blowing a bunch of winnings, and the little bit of money they had to send Alex to college, Frank gets the idea that they should become the house, because the house always wins. From there, the trio set up an illegal casino in Frank's nearly empty house and watch the cash roll in from the local soccer moms and dads.

From there, things get carried away and get out of hand quick. The movie goes quite crazy, and I should have liked it, but it seemed so different from the movie it set itself up to be. The cast is quite good, even beside Ferrell and Poehler, you have a bunch of wonderful bit players in Mantzoukas, Nick Kroll, Rob Huebel, Michaela Watkins, Allison Tolman, Rory Scovel and Lennon Parham. They wring what they can out of this, but with the way it is put together, there is only so much you can get.

Rating: **

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