Buried so deep within The House that even the filmmakers don’t seem to know it’s there is the glimmer of the hint of the seed of a dark, bitter satire on collapsing America, suburban malaise and economic anguish: Desperate parents (Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler) start an underground casino to pay their daughter’s college tuition, descending into a life of crime that rips the veneer of respectability off their upscale McMansion lifestyle. Apparently, however, the unfunny rough outline of a messy first draft was greenlit. As illustration of the movie’s ineptitude: A laugh-out-loud moment in its trailer falls totally flat in the movie, arriving with no momentum and no idea what it’s even doing there. Newbie director Andrew Jay Cohen thinks he can riff on Scorsese flicks without understanding what makes them so great, and as his movie flails around trying to find comedy, he occasionally decides that we will find the most unpleasant things absolutely uproarious, such as Ferrell physically attacking a teenage girl for no reason at all, and more than once. The house always wins? Oh boy, not this one.
Director: Andrew Cohen
Producer: Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake, Brendan O'Brien, Andrew Cohen, Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Marc S. Fischer, Chris Henchy, Spencer Wong, Bruce Berman, Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Michael Disco and Steven Mnuchin
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 and Wayne Federman