Friday, December 18, 2020

Guest House: Movie Review

Stripped of all originality and humanity.

The weird premise – a couple buys a house with a strange man permanently living in the guest house – is the least of Guest House’s problems. It’s just a poorly written, poorly executed comedy that seems to have been created by Netflix’s algorithm to hit all the points that comedies should have and is stripped of any originality or humanity. Turns out it's not a Netflix original, but I stand by that last sentence.   2020

Directed by: Sam Macaroni

Screenplay by: Sam Macaroni, Sean Bishop, Troy Duffy

Starring: Paul Shore, Mike Castle, and Aimee Teegarden

Let’s start with the premise. Blake (Mike Castle) and Sarah (Aimee Teegarden) are house shopping. They have the perfect large gorgeous house that only exists in movies or those owned by rich celebs. The problem is that Randy (Pauly Shore) is living in the guest house. As the realtor explains, you have to give him 90 days notice before they can kick him out. Ignoring whatever deal the previous owners had and the fact the realtor accepted to sell it with Pauly Shore, it is a comedy premise. We move on.

The film then spent the next 30 minutes on set-up. Sarah questions why an entrepreneur would be living in somebody’s guest house. Well, Sarah, most of them would; considering entrepreneur is a code word for unemployed or managing bankrupt businesses. Blake and Sarah were also given multiple reasons to get him kicked out – stealing from them, doing illegal drugs on the premises, but then Blake just gives up. Instead of hiring a lawyer which they can obviously afford, it takes Randy 10 seconds to convince him to get high.

Mike Castle and Aimee Teegarden both do well in playing a strict couple trying to come to terms with the partying around them, and Pauly Shore is perfectly serviceable as a party animal. Blake and Sarah are not particularly well written and the comedy just isn’t good enough to be able to laugh and forget about the film’s other issues.

There are a lot of homosexual jokes. None of them seem particularly homophobic on the surface, but the sheer number of such jokes suggest a weird obsession that makes them come off the wrong way.

In setting up the characters, there is a distinct lack of focus in the editing and a large disconnect occurs in trying to establish Blake as childlike, Sarah as a mature and competent adult, and then introducing Sarah’s weird hateful father, and Blake’s bizarre boss and sex-obsessed co-workers. None of these characters make much sense and the complete lack of focus just highlights the amateur editing and does not help with the comedy.

And then it just jumps forward 6 months - umm you only needed 90 days at most to get rid of Randy so why is he still here? All that set-up the film did is then erased and the rest of the film is just a raunchy comedy where awful characters are given the upper hand and the audience has no characters to connect with. There is no appeal to Guest House and too little comedy.