Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1986. Amblin Entertainment, U-Drive Productions, Universal Pictures. Screenplay by David Giler. Cinematography by Gordon Willis. Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Art Levinson, Frank Marshall. Music by Michel Colombier. Production Design by Patrizia von Brandenstein. Costume Design by Ruth Morley. Film Editing by Jacqueline Cambas.
Tom Hanks and Shelley Long are in love, their domestic bliss in her New York City apartment ruined when her pretentious conductor ex-husband (Alexander Godunov) returns from his tour and announces he is ready to take his home back. Needing a new abode quickly, they jump at the chance when a mansion is up for sale at a cut-rate price thanks to its present owner (Maureen Stapleton) needing to be at her imprisoned husband’s side. Things that are too good to be true usually are, and it’s almost immediately upon moving in that the house begins to fall apart, staircases crumbling and rooves leaking and our heroes’ relationship close to being buried underneath it all. Sweet and simple, this is a great example of concept comedy, jumping into its situation quickly, providing a series of effective sight gags and never boring us with a moral message. The stars have an uncomplicated chemistry that is perfectly suited to the material, while director Richard Benjamin has no end of fun coming up with increasingly crazier ways to ruin their lives.