Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Money Pit

This is the movie that should be viewed for all potential home buyers. It is an exagerrated movie on many fronts but it is funny and purposeful nevertheless. Tom Hanks stars in this movie with the highly annoying Shelley Long. She is annoying in this movie as she was in Cheers and from what I hear, she is that way in real life. Not a really personable, seemingly useless, and spoiled. Why men just obey her has always stumped me. For instance, she orders Hank's character, her pretty much fiancee Walter Fielding, Jr. to go get some water. Why can she not get the water?

Anna Crowley Beissart or Anna Fielding is her name in this hilarious movie. She is not funny at all but Hanks is hilarious. I forgot how funny he could be. He should do another comedy. But his dramas have proven to be blockbuster as he has made some of the best films of our day. Apollo 13 probably taking the cake for me.

This movie has a couple of other characters but they do not mean that much, certainly not now and probably not then.

Walter is a lawyer and Anna is, uhhh, a skinny blonde. She plays in an orchestra but this probably just pays for her gas and the violin. Walter and her have been living in her maestro's apartment while he has been on tour in Europe. Apparently, they did not find another place to live in a year and the maestro just barnstorms back into his home. He has the right to, that apartment is his. So Anna and Walter have about 4 days to find another place to live. Why they can not move into another apartment is beyond me, they act like it takes months to move into a place which is absurd. Perhaps a nice place that suits their tastes but their are a variety of options. Another thing is that it seems like they have not saved a dollar for this inevitability. Did they think they would be able to live for free forever? I guess Walter did not have any problem with sleeping in his girlfriend's former boyfriend's room and living in his home.

Walter contacts a real estate agent he knows and this real estate has just finished escaping some legal issues. This agent recommends a home for them. Walter and Anna drive out to this home and it is majestic. It appeals to Walter since it is $1 million home selling for $200 thousand. Walter obtains this money from a child superstar to purchase the home.

The home is one hour away from the city where both of them work. That is one issue but its apparent beauty defeats this long commute. Within one day of living in this home, things begin to fall apart on them. Walter and Anna did meat the homeowner, a single old woman who quietly only shows them the parts she wants them to see and they do not even ask to turn on the water and look around a little. A terrible inspection. The first day they move in, they realize the steps on the staircase are weakening, the plumbing is in shambles, and the mattress in the master bedroom is frighteningly warped. In fact, the master bed needs to be replaced.

The second day, the front door falls off its hinges. Within the first week, the house has a flood of leaks, the electrical system in the house does not work and actually is dangerous to be around. The staircase completely falls apart, and large sections of the house need completely new wood and carpentry work. These scenes show the pitfalls of buying a home without even conducting a cursury inspection. They do not even have a car, so they have to rely on the train. 9 hour days turn into 13 hour debacles.

Walter is a decent handy man but with a lazy female partner who is utterly useless, he is in over his head. He must pay the utility guys a bribe to even arrive at his home. This is a joke but whatever. He must get permits to get his plumbing fixed? Not real but it is a fantasy.

Walter laughs so hard when his floor falls through when trying to fill up the bathtub with water, it is hilarious. I have not seen a Hanks in a comedy in a while, his talent and charisma is sparkling. The funniest scene though is when Walter sinks into the the second floor and is trapped in his own rug. The rug is preventing him from falling 15 feet downward to the wooden floor. Anna can not even find him when she returns about 9 pm that night which only adds to their cluster mess. It is the highlight of these scene. The so called permit man walks away since Walter can not answer the door due to his house imposed entrapment.

To illustrate the impractical nature of Anna/Shelley, when they finally get the repairmen to come work on the myriad of issues with their home, she is dressed as if she is at a fancy concert. Strange men all over, in and out of her home, dust, dirt, her driveway has already been torn apart, her judgement is questionable at best. One would think she is atleast sweeping her room or helping the painters paint her home the colors her and Walter prefer. It is a funny though. No way all these people would be at the home simultaneously but the movie drives home the point it is trying to make.

This movie slipped through the cracks. I was growing up and this movie was not a must see when this movie was fresh on the scene. Seeing Shelley Long in Cheers, I am not sure too many other people wanted to see her on the silver screen as well. This movie was not that long, pretty simple, but entertaining. Devoid of spectacular performances, a world class plot, or any magnificent lines, it was not devastating either. The musical score was empty but whatever.

I give this movie two stars.**

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