Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Money Pit


Though there is no attribution, this was inspired by the much better Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. Tom Hanks is a great actor, but he’s no Cary Grant, and he’s a bit over the top here in some scenes. Of course, the whole movie is over the top, but that’s not all bad. Tom and Shelley Long can’t resist buying a million-dollar house for only $200,000, and of course they don’t bother to even turn on a water tap, which would have rewarded them with a stream of vile sludge. Every time they touch something or drop something, another piece of the house collapses or falls off. Every time they throw a light switch, something catches fire or explodes. The stairway to the second floor falls apart and they have to carry bath water up a ladder to the tub. And so forth. And their troubles have just begun. Everything gets much, much worse when they hire contractors to fix stuff, which is just about everything. “Two weeks!” the guy assures them. Four months later: “Two weeks!” And the house is half destroyed.

Most of the humor here is pure slapstick, of the kind that Laurel and Hardy were so terrific at. There are Rube Goldberg chain reactions that are pretty funny. In fact, I had a lot of laughs, but I wouldn’t exactly recommend this one.