Houseguest (1995) is a English movie. R. Martin Miller has directed this movie. Sinbad,Phil Hartman,Kim Greist,Kim Murphy are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1995. Houseguest (1995) is considered one of the best Comedy movie in India and around the world.
Kevin Franklin is a con man whose mouth is bigger than him, but it doesn't help him much when he's in with the mob for $50,000. Trying to avoid a gambling addict boss, and his two stupid henchmen, Kevin poses as a childhood friend to Gary Young, a workaholic father whose own life is in turmoil in an affluent Pennsylvania suburb.
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I thought for sure I was going to run kicking and screaming from my television... a film with Sinbad? Unwatchable! But this gem proved me wrong, as I not only watched it but loved almost every second of it (and Sinbad is always on the screen, so surely it must be his doing!). The story is a common Hollywood theme: a guy (Sinbad) passes himself off on a group or family as someone he's not: in this case, a childhood friend of a father (Phil Hartman). A little variety exists in how to play this out, but the same old stuff happens: stranger teaches family a lesson and learns one himself along the way. What made this film great was the cast. Sinbad was surprisingly insightful and was able to make even average activities seem far-fetched and outrageous. Phil Hartman had a relatively minor role and didn't really get to provide us with a full performance, but his physical facial comedy of biting into a piece of turkey was extremely amusing (facial comedy plays a large part in this film, later coming back when a wine taster is testing a glass). Jeffrey Jones has too small a part (this man is so under-rated in Hollywood), but does well with what he's been given. And most of all I think Kim Murphy's career should have ignited from this film, but I guess producers didn't watch it. Murphy is obviously beautiful (which seems to be enough to make it in Hollywood), but more so she played her Gothic character perfectly. I was amused with her delivery of the lines concerning Edgar Allan Poe's last meal, her Smiths t-shirt (perfect choice) and the really wacky line about evil rats. The writers did their homework when writing in Murphy's character and she repaid them in spades. (Can I use the word "spades" when talking about a Sinbad movie?) The soundtrack was amusing. Best feature: the fact that some scenes were so obviously McDonald's commercials, with one really extended scene including a McDonald's theme song. Heck, after that moment I would have cut off my own leg for a double quarter pounder with cheese. I love this movie, and would not be against displaying it proudly on my movie shelf for all my relatives, friends and guests to see. I do not know why this film has gone underground and has been long forgotten my many people, but it shouldn't have been. This is comedy gold, people.
The comic genius and timing of stars Sinbad and Phil Hartman take what could have been a run-of-the-mill dumb comedy film and turn it into a wonderfully likeable tour-de-force. The premise has been done time and time again, it's basically a "fish out of water" story. Yes, the gangsters are dumb almost to the point where they're annoying. Sure, we see the message coming from a mile away. But there are a few things that separate this film from other comedies, and elevate to the status of excellence. First of all, it's hilarious. There are few jokes that don't work and they are immediately forgotten as this fast-paced romp wastes no time. The speed-up of scenes and the quick editing (several shots seem to last for no longer than a few seconds) do get a slight bit irritating, but it serves its purpose by catering to the fast-paced story and Sinbad's style of comedy. Take for instance, the party scene in which Sinbad is explaining what the "GFH" on his suit jacket stands for. Slow down the scene, and it loses the humor. Since the McDonald's issue has been cited again and again in reviews with varying degrees of criticism, let me address it briefly. First of all, there are a lot of people who love to eat McDonald's food. It's not healthy for you, but you'd be lying if you say that it tastes awful. Now, Sinbad's character is established as the lazy, unhealthy, always-eating slacker from the very beginning as he comes home to his apartment and enjoys his McDonald's and 2 liter bottle of soda. The real Derek Bond is completely contrasted with the impostor Derek Bond's lifestyle. Hence the fish out of water comedy. Sinbad's character is put in a desperate situation where he assumes this other man's life and the man he is pretending to be is the complete opposite of him. He's got a successful career as a dentist and he maintains a strict diet of vegetables and muescli cereal. So, when Sinbad's Kevin Franklin character, in this awkward and unfamiliar situation of staying with a suburban family's house and pretending to be someone who everyone expects to be a health-conscious stuffy professional, manages to escape for a moment and sees the familiar golden arches, he's so happy that he feels like he's in a commercial. He knows McDonald's and in many places, McDonald's seems to be an unchanging, constant source of familiar greasy food. McDonald's works in the context of the film because it's a real fast-food place that we can relate to, because we've all eaten there at one time or another. To me, if there was some fictional place like "Lou's Hamburgers", it wouldn't work. The character design might come through, but there could be no jingle resounding in our heads, and it'd take you out of the reality of the story (which I discuss in next paragraph). Yes, McDonald's is a real fast-food joint, and Kevin Franklin loves to eat there. Does that make "Houseguest" a McDonald's commercial? I don't think that it does, I think it maintains an element of reality that we as viewers can relate to. Perhaps we needn't always be so cynical as some professional film critics are. Now, I mention the 'reality' of "Houseguest" and you must think I'm absolutely crazy. Houseguest is an unrealistic film that requires you to throw logic out the door entirely if you wish to enjoy it, right? Well, not necessarily. I think looking back at this film, eight years after it was made, we can look at the family suburban life depicted, and notice the real-ness of the characters. Phil Hartman's character Gary Young is a hard-working businessman at a law firm. He sucks up to his boss and the boss's wife and spends more time with his job than his family. Gary's wife tries to be there for her family, but she's taken on a career with frozen yogurt stores and it's turning out to be far more time-consuming than she imagined. Then, there are the three children. The oldest girl is distancing herself from her family, trying to find comfort in a "Goth" phase, taking pleasure from sad poetry and a boyfriend who seems to think that he's a tough kid from the hood. The middle child is the only son, Jason. He tries to win his father's approval by playing basketball and hoping to be good. The youngest daughter seems not to be getting any attention, either. Her busy parents don't have time for her, and she's been getting lessons from television programs instead. The dysfunctional middle-class family serves as a foil for Kevin Franklin, pretending to be someone he is not, who will ultimately find the desire to help these people, who have unknowingly opened up their home to him, a complete stranger. Kevin Franklin doesn't have a job, a family, or kids, and yet it his interactions with the Young family that allow both them and he to better themselves. Now, if you've seen the movie, you're probably reading this and thinking, "This guy's nuts. He's completely overanalyzing some stupid comedy." Well, perhaps I am. "Houseguest" is indeed a silly, hectic fish-out-of-water comedy; somewhat formulaic, but very much successful. However, to dismiss the film as 'bad' or a 'stupid comedy' is a superficial assessment of a film that really has a lot going for it. Sure, the film is glossy and not without faults, but then, so is life and the people that we interact with. "Houseguest" is a winning comedy, and one of my favorite films of the 1990s. It presents laughs but also provides a realistic look at individual and family life in the '90s, even if this comes out of an unrealistic set-up of a man assuming another identity to avoid the mob. Much-maligned and underappreciated, "Houseguest" is a gem of a family comedy that I certainly hope you will give a chance. Or if you initially didn't like it, some more thought on these matters and maybe a second chance.
Most family movies seem hastily thrown together but HOUSEGUEST is an exception. The dialogue sparkles, the direction isn't just 2-takes-and-go, the cinematography is whackily speeded up in some places and the editing is rapid fire. And unlike most family movies, it lasts for 110 minutes. That's about half an hour longer than is usual. I know this hardly seems like a valid point but I reckon it proves the movie's got more content than fart jokes etc. My only gripe is the obvious McDonalds plugging about 40 minutes in. If you can just turn away for these 10 seconds then it's not so bad. It's a shame that it's there tho because it tarnishes the credibility of the movie. Sinbad is always good and the late, great Phil Hartman can make any film watchable so they really add to this brilliantly entertaining comedy. Do yourself a favour and watch it. It's not just for kids. I watched my VHS a zillion times and I was so impatient for this DVD to be released. So it's barebones, but who cares? I'm just glad to have it. The 1.78:1 anamorphic picture is super and the Dolby 2.0 surround track is decent enough. After all this is a dialogue driven comedy but some sound effects and music are presented pretty well. My subwoofer even go a big kick from a gunshot near the end. Pick this one up whenever you see it. No matter what age you are, you and your kids will enjoy.
Houseguest. One of Sinbad's funniest movies and Phil Hartman's funniest movies. Sinbad plays a 35-year old, never want go get a job, con man, who is in to the mob for $50,000 dollars. After trying to escape from the con man, he impersonates a dentist and that's when the fun begins. Right off the back, Sinbad brings the laughs. All of of lines about the great white shark biting his friends head off and the GFH off of his suit jacket. This is a wonderful movie and I would recommend it to anyone, because Sinbad is a comedian that doesn't need profanity to be funny. Funny 10/10!
This movie surprisingly works and is very funny and enjoyable and it's also, what I think to be the litmus test of a good movie, always good for repeated viewing without losing its charm. I pass by the film on cable and find myself watching it again and still laughing. I know this seems hard to believe especially since the story is ridiculous and the script is pretty banal. I've come to the conclusion that it's the genuine talent of Sinbad, an exceedingly funny man who unfortunately seems to have disappeared from show business as of late. Phil Hartman adds a great deal to the film with his always impeccable delivery but I can't help but think of his horrible tragedy and kind of fall out of the movie's whimsy at times. I always liked this movie. It manages to rise above most Hollywood comedies that are inevitably annoying and dispensable. This movie is fun and has great acting which makes up for the fact that it is, by nature, just a screwball comedy. It's a total guilty pleasure but I say go for it.