Let’s face it, 2017 has been and still is a pretty bad year for comedies so far. Chips, Snatched, and Fist Fight all underwhelmed and under-performed. The House might be a tad better because of a few laugh-out moments and the charms of the likes of Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, but it doesn’t do much to change the trend. This one will not completely disappoint you but you will probably ask yourself why it’s not good enough. A funny premise plus a super funny cast with many good comedies under their belt, what could actually go wrong? It is the same reason all over again, the lazy writing.
Here we have a mother and a father (played by Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler) thinking of a way to make money to afford their daughter’s tuition after the town denied the scholarship that was supposed to go to her schooling. Along with their neighbor Frank (played by funny guy Jason Mantzoukas) they decide to start an illegal casino in his house to make enough money to cover for her tuition and then some. The story has potential and the cast members are all spot on. What happened then? Why is this one not as good as Horrible Bosses? Or 21 Jump Street?
The problem is that most of the comedies we see nowadays and especially in 2017 are similar in a disappointing way. Not much effort is being put into writing a decent screenplay that can get the job done. First of all, having a barely funny crude joke after another joke that is hardly considered one in the first place just doesn’t work. It is not the quantity of the jokes that makes a good comedy, it is all about the well written-jokes. The comedies nowadays are playing a numbers game which means squeeze in as many silly jokes as possible and hope that a decent number of them will make the audience laugh. What we end up with is usually around three or four laugh-out moments and a few smiles along the way and that doesn’t really justify a trip to the theater.
The House is not a huge disappointment, but it is not a good comedy either. It ends up not realizing its full potential due to the lazy writing that has been plaguing most of the comedies as of late.