Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Houseguest (1995)

Well this one is for the light-hearted and not the light of heart. There's a joke at the beginning of the movie that cued me into the fact that I was going to laugh away the pain for the next 1.5 hours, and that intuition was pretty much spot on. Somewhere in Sinbad's orphanic childhood, a nun is making up some story about how Poseidon started out as an orphan and eventually overcame the odds to become ruler of the sea. And Sinbad Jr (small boy with a large fro) says: "I don't want to be no po' Seidon. When I get big, I'm gonna be rich." Now for me personally, and maybe it was just the context or the delivery or something, but I think that's pretty freaking hilarious. Yes, I'm a weirdo (gasp!). If you also think that joke is funny when erupting from the mouth of an angsty eight year old, then this movie might be a solid move. Otherwise, I can't promise anything. The whole story is pretty confusing and out-of-line. While concerning both rich people and black people, I am fairly certain that the writers had never met either before penning this piece. It's just so off! But that's probably what makes it funny. That and the ridiculousness that is the 6 foot 4 and 1/2 inches of smiling sap known as Sinbad. He fits right into that loud-mouthed, over-the-top comedic style that has been so sucked dry by the likes of Chris Tucker and Chris Rock and probably some other Chris's too. Spencer and I agree that we'd never want to be friends with him, but boy is it fun to watch him crash and burn. A key scene is when he manages to pretend to be a world-famous dentist in front of a bunch of students and other professionals by accidently ripping out a tooth while dodging a swinging dental light. And they clap. Classic. Phil Hartman is also hilarious, but mostly because he seems so unnatural. While most folks may give him props for his extensive stint on SNL, I personally relate to his more childish work (eg. Smurfs, Talespin, Scooby Doo, Captain Planet, etc.). As for the rest of the cast and crew, they're pretty much forgettable. The preacher from Firefly is in it, but he's eerily thin. And the director hasn't done anything else I've heard of besides The Sixth Man, which, despite my many weaknesses, I have never been able to bring myself to purchase. The film was a success, though it's not surprising when dealing with such a cheap comedy (in all meanings of the word).

Final Judgment: "McDonald's is a lifesaver? Houseguest has dubious morals but big laughs/Bringing down the uptight conservatives everywhere/Thank god I don't live in this reality!


Ram Peters said...

man, i love this movie. sinbad r.i.p.

Tesla said...

don't worry dude; sinbad lives on!