In a year full of unfunny, lame comedies, I have been waiting or a film to give me a good laugh. Based on the trailers, I wasn’t sure if The House would be funny, but I was pleasantly surprised. The House is a better comedy than I expected, which made it quite enjoyable. The simple story is packed full with good writing and many improv moments making it an enjoyable ride.
What could go wrong when two parents (Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler) and their crazy best friend (Jason Mantzoukas) start an underground casino in upstate New York to pay for their daughter’s college education and foreclosed house respectively? Anything that could go wrong or be crazy does happen, including a fantastic fight club scene. The more people that show up, the funnier The House gets. Ferrell and Poehler are a great duo, and their improv wars are funny to watch. The real scene stealer is Mantzoukas, as his insanity keeps the film going.
The hometown feel of the film also adds to the comedy. The concept is the best part of the film, and the execution wasn’t too bad. After a while, the film feels like it has run its course and slightly drags in the middle. However, the action definitely picks back up and leads to an entertaining end run involving Jeremy Renner and villain Nick Kroll.
The script is decent and manages to isolate the three main characters with all the good dialogue. The background characters, including Kroll, don’t add much to the film, as their parts weren’t written as strong. The House ends up being mindless entertainment that is enjoyable even with thinly written characters. The plot is also simple and doesn’t develop too much further from the overarching concept.
It was a relief that The House was much better than I expected. I laughed a lot and found myself smiling through most of the film. The House is one of the better big studio comedies of the year.
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