Sunday, November 6, 2016

Movie Review: "HouseSitter" (1992)

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Director: Frank Oz
Year: 1992
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

An architect named Newton Davis (Steve Martin) has a one night stand with a waitress named Gwen (Goldie Hawn). He tells her about an empty house he has built in his hometown that was meant as a proposal gift to his now ex-girlfriend Becky (Dana Delany). Figuring that the house is empty, Gwen heads to this small town to squat in the home by posing as Newton's newlywed wife. When Newton shows up at the property stunned to find Gwen not only living here, but having lavishly furnished it as well, he agrees to let her live there as long as she can work to sway Becky back into his arms. 

"HouseSitter" is directed by Frank Oz, who is known for many other films starring Steve Martin such as "Little Shop of Horrors" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." This one also employs Steve Martin as the lead, a man by the name of Newton Davis, an architect who is a few months out of a serious relationship after his long-time girlfriend Becky, played by Dana Delany, turned down his marriage proposal after he surprised her with a brand newly made house. After hooking up with a waitress/habitual liar named Gwen, played by Goldie Hawn, Newton tells her about the house and the turned down proposal. Gwen takes it upon herself to take up residence in the currently empty house by posing as Newton's wife to everyone in the small town, including his parents, and with that, hilarity ensues.

Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn have great chemistry and excellent timing in this sort of unconventional romantic comedy. Hawn produces a lot of laughs with her charming nature, despite the fact that she perpetually spins larger and larger lies. We sit wondering when she will get caught in her own web of lies, but she somehow manages to always stay one step ahead of everyone else. Steve Martin also brings a lot of laughs as well with his more awkward approach to the situation. By making a deal with Gwen, his normally honest character is forced to create his own web of lies that is as fragile as a house of cards. Hawn's Gwen is constantly having to fill in gaps left by Newton, who is new to the whole lying thing. Steve Martin manages to balance the serious with the silly into a successful juggling act of sincerity and comedy. The supporting cast featuring the likes of Dana Delaney, Donald Moffat, and Peter MacNicol do their part in creating a more cohesive picture, but it is really Hawn and Martin and their hilarious situation that make this film work so well. They bring a fairly steady stream of laughs in this overall enjoyable comedy. "HouseSitter" is better of the Steve Martin/Goldie Hawn collaborations and is quite charming and silly, but is also extremely relatable despite its crazy premise.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 22%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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