Welcome to the United States, the land of broken promises, crazy parents and money, money, money. That’s the story behind recent release The House, a comedy that follows Kate and Scott Johansen as they start an underground casino in order to afford their daughter’s college tuition after her town funded scholarship is abruptly cut from the budget.
With no money in the bank, they must resort to teaming up with their gambling addicted friend to make money their own way. Cue plenty of scenarios centred around the makeshift casino, involving ﬁght nights, gambling and making sure the local mayor and police do not ﬁnd out about the illegal operations.
As the money builds so do the stakes until Kate and Scott are left wondering just how far will they go to make their daughter’s dreams a reality. While Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell are established comedians individually, their partnership in this instance isn’t a standout performance.
The laughs are purely situational and as the ﬁlm manages to fall into plenty of handy cliches it may not be the laugh-fest fans would expect. Nonetheless, it’s the sort of in-your-face humour audiences have come to expect from American ﬁlms, which covers a broad range to make sure every person in the cinema has at least a giggle.
As far as the supporting cast goes, Jason Mantzoukas as Frank has the one-liner comedic goods of the ﬁlm and Ryan Simpsons has a slight Taylor Swift-inspired presence but she is a great counterbalance as Poehler and Ferrell’s on-screen daughter, Alex.
There’s also a cameo from Jeremy Renner who seems randomly placed and under utilised as part of the larger picture. Anyone who pays enough attention to the trailers will notice some of the bigger laughs will have already been seen, and others have been cut entirely (will there be an extended cut on DVD release?) but nothing major enough to hurt the overall storyline.
Essentially it’s some fun, good old American humour to pass a few hours (and might just be the escape some parents will need these school holidays).
Have you seen The House? Let us know your thoughts below!