The House of Yes [retro review]

“Pretend he’s not my brother. I do.”

The Scoop: 1997 R, directed by Mark Waters and starring Parker Posey, Josh Hamilton, and Tori Spelling

Tagline: Enter at your own risk.

Summary Capsule: Disturbed Jackie Onassis look-a-like (Parker Posey) takes an unplatonic liking to her brother, and tries to steal him away from his girlfriend.

Justin’s Rating: “Remember when you asked Missy out to your senior prom?” “Shut UP, Ted!”

Justin’s Review: I am what most “cultured” people would call a heathen: I despise Shakespeare (even though I am an English major), I think guys in ballet is wrong no matter how you look at it, and I get the feeling that plays are being used less and less to tell a story, and more and more to provide a theraputic outlet to the playright’s dysfunctional sex life. Theater majors are more than happy to play these roles; their motto is, “If it has a happy ending, I want no part of it.”

Ergo, we get The House Of Yes a film version of a play (which means four sets and lots of dialogue). In a nutshell, you have normal brother A with normal girlfriend B, but sister C is in love with brother A and slept with him quite a bit when A and C were growing up. A left, C tried to shoot him, A and B come back, other brother D falls for girlfriend B, and there’s domineering mother E. What an opportunity for humor!

Yes, amidst incest and a family gone bad, there is quite a bit of the ol’ sharp wit flying around. You know, dialogue that normal people really would never come up with, but it looks good on screen. As each of the characters try to figure out what he or she really wants, the plot plods on predictably to the inevitable end. No surprises here, but still enjoyable.

Parker Posey plays Jackie O, who’s a mite bit obsessed with both her brother and President Kennedy’s wife. She dresses like her, talks like her, and even waves from the car like her (don’t ask). She and brother Marty (Josh Hamilton) have good chemistry together, although you’re never in doubt for a second what they’re doing is terribly wrong. It’s all the more odd, because none of the characters seem to have a problem with it, except token girlfriend (Tori Spelling).

Dysfunctional family: been done. Incest with the Kennedy assassination: a new twist. Director Mark Waters and playright Wendy MacLeod: messed in the head.

Point Break 2: The Ex-Presidents

Intermission!

  • I really can’t think of an intermission for this movie. I’m blanking here…. the horror! the horror! But, hey, you’re all intelligent, sophisticated people (I take much for granted), so use this time just to ponder the meaninglessness of nothing and why Ally McBeal is still on the air.

Groovy Quotes:

Lesly: I can’t talk that way about your brother.
Jackie O: Pretend he’s not my brother. I do.

Jackie O: I watch soap operas. I bake brownies. Normalcy is pulsing through my veins.

Jackie-O: You be him, and I’ll be her.

Lesly: This is how you raised them?
Mrs. Pascal: People raise cattle. Children just happen.

Jackie-O: Goo is what tape is all about. Goo is what makes it tape instead of *paper*.

Jackie-O: Sorry about that, by the way, I didn’t mean to maim you. I only meant to kill you.
Marty: These things happen.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: The Doom Generation [retro review] « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

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