After Scott (Will Ferrell) and Kate (Amy Poehler) Johansen lose their daughter Alex’s college fund, they become desperate to earn it back so she can pursue her dream of attending a university. With the help of their neighbor Frank (Jason Mantzoukas), they decide to start an illegal casino in the basement of his house.
Director: Andrew Jay Cohen
Writers: Brendan O’Brien, Andrew Jay Cohen
Stars: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Ryan Simpkins
Rating: 2 / 10 Stars
REVIEW – Andrew Jay Cohen is a very promising film writer. I loved Neighbors and I put Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates in my top 20 last year. I feel the pressure of him writing and directing his first film got to him. He wants to give us this daring and dark satire that just ends up being so flat and unfunny. This film feels like it was written and directed off of late night ideas that were clearly thought up on napkins at a bar. This film feels like a giant joke that just went wrong and no one knew how to salvage it into a film. The film revolves around Kate and Scott Johansen. Two parents who are living through the successes of their teenage daughter. Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler are great sketch comics. Will in the past has made some good films. This is clearly what becomes of them when they are not inspired. There is this walking joke about what a 401k actually means, which comes across as pretty stupid. They enlist their friend Frank who has a gambling addiction to help them. The suggestion is to open up an illegal underground casino. I have played in many underground house games.
To watch this film feel so illogical and lack even intelligence in the field they are trying to tackle got to me. I am not trying to nit pick, but it seems that if you are going to try and make a comic version of Rounders, at least be educated on the department you are poking satire at. This film stalls at the beginning, and that moment was when the film just felt like it could not even attempt to catch up. It just seems that in the last five years, Will has played the same role. He has the same facial expressions and the same outlook. It just seems that the director studies his past work and says, “ just be yourself”. Will needs to go off script more than read lines. It seems that this film was holding Will back. It is like heavily medicating someone to the point of being numb and asking them to run a race. This film was a bad idea for the director, the writer and the stars. I feel everyone will come back from it, and that their million dollar lifestyles are not affected at all by this decision. Let me put this in terms that the rest of us would understand. If this was you at work. It would be an absolutely bad day that you upset all the customers in the place. How many bosses would let you work the next day after that? Sadly, they are all golden, they rip off the fans and get more chances to continually do it.
THE HOUSE | Official Trailer: