Trips to the cinema in recent years to see comedies have been somewhat of a gamble. Nowadays it’s one of the weaker genres for sure, with the all out comedy failing to impress. There’s been humour aplenty in films from other genres but the films devoted entirely to making us laugh have struggled to say the least. The latest comedic attempt is ‘The House’. Fronted by Will Ferrell & Amy Poehler it certainly had the talent in front of the camera but could the team behind the scenes match their comedic potential?
Ferrell & Poehler star as husband and wife here. They’re struggling to find the funds to pay for their daughters college tuition fees so in a desperate attempt to raise the cash they set up and run an illegal casino. In terms of the comedy it’s all fairly average. The film will hold your attention for it’s brief running time but it does little to provoke any real big laughs. There are a number or recurring gags throughout the picture, each with varying degrees of success. The funniest of these focuses on a pair of the neighborhoods housewives who have an ongoing feud. This was consistently funny, if more of these repeat gags could have worked as well as this ‘The House’ might have been more of a success. The narrative is pretty playful but it reaches it’s potential a little too quickly possibly. It’s of course more of a vehicle for comedy than anything else but it runs a little thin towards the end of the film.
As I’ve already mentioned the comedic talent is there in the shape of Ferrell & Poehler. They have funny bones, proven on numerous occasions in the past however here the material they have to work with is just never as good as they are. There are moments when their chemistry really clicks and you see the comedic potential, it’s just a shame that this doesn’t happen nearly enough to deliver those big belly laughs. The supporting cast are all fine, there’s a whole host of lesser known actors who you’ll recognise from other similar films who contribute well. There’s also a rather bizarre cameo performance too. I believe they’re featured in the trailer but I won’t reveal their identity just in case anyone hasn’t seen it. They don’t really add much to the film and the casting doesn’t even seem particularly appropriate. It doesn’t necessarily detract from the film but it all just felt a little random.
Judging by recent cinematic comedic trends the odds of ‘The House’ paying off were pretty poor. It’s of a similar quality to the likes of ‘Fist Fight’ & ‘Why Him?’ among other recent efforts. Like them it never becomes hateful, but also doesn’t warrant a recommendation. Thanks to it’s well known and likeable lead performers it’ll do the job for a cheap night at the cinema with a group of mates.
Rating – 5/10
Question: What is your favourite Will Ferrell or Amy Poehler comedy film?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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