The House (2017)


  • Directed by Andrew Jay Cohel
  • Starring Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas
  • Written by Brendan O’Brien
  • Comedy
  • Rated R
  • 88 mins.
  • 30 June 2017


After the town’s usual college scholarship fund runs out of money, parents Scott and Kate must pay for their daughter Alex’s college education out of pocket… only they have no money. Inspired by a vacation with a friend going through hard times, Scott and Kate turn their friend’s house into an illegal casino in order to make the money they need to send Alex to college.

How’s the Story?

I was honestly surprised how much more STORY to this there was than I expected. I figured it was going to be pretty cold, with little connection to the family, and just a bunch of fun. While it was still pretty fun, this movie had more of a story than that, and I really enjoyed that. It was still pretty short and simple of a story, but it took it from ‘random slapstick comedy’ to ‘I am invested in their success’, which is definitely a step up from my expectations.

How’s the Acting?

It’s nothing too bad. Generally I think, while SUPER funny, Will Ferrell is a pretty bad actor, so for him to do a pretty okay job, I call that a success. I find myself wondering where the hell Jeremy Renner came from, because this is not the caliber movie I generally associate him with, and his performance was kinda crap because he’s a good actor in a far different film than his usual. Amy Poehler is great here, but she’s rarely anything less than great, even in shitty movies, so I’m not surprised.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

The writing here is good. It’s not the funniest movie I’ve ever seen, and I really expected it to be funnier, but since it has an actual story to more of an extent than I also expected, it balances out. The jokes are pretty good, if not great, so it’s got its worth.

Most importantly, however, I think where this movie falls down is the directing. I feel like the direction isn’t as consistent as it needed to be. There are a few choices that are kind of odd to me. However, overall, the direction is serviceable and does what it needs to do to keep the movie from going too far to the ‘wtf’ side of inconsistent.

How’s the Cinematography?

It isn’t much of a ‘visual’ type of movie, so I don’t have too much to say here, but I will say, the boxing scenes were really fun how they were filmed. There were some fun ways that the camera was used to make it feel more like you’re actually watching your drunk friends kick each other’s ass.

Is It Worth Watching?

While The House won’t be making too many Top 10 lists this year, it’s a perfectly enjoyable comedy. If you don’t like simple, un-serious comedy, you probably won’t like it, but if you do like just some good laughs with a decent story, this film will totally be worth seeing. I don’t at all regret the money I spent to sit in the movie theater, have a diet coke and some popcorn, and have a good laugh.

Most of all, if you’re into comedians, this film will have some very familiar faces that will probably make you smile no matter what you think about the movie as a whole. Some of my favorite ‘not-movie-star’ comics were in this movie and they all entertained me in their parts.

Though my review hasn’t exactly been glowing, I still have to reiterate that I enjoyed this movie and will definitely see it again when it inevitably plays on rotation at Comedy Central some day.

My Rating: 6/10

About J. Chelsea Williford

Movie addict, reader, writer, pop culture lover.
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