823. The Money Pit (1986)

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3.9 Infuriating
  • Acting 3.9
  • Directing 4.1
  • Story 3.6
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Tom Hanks, Shelley Long, Alexander Godunov

Director: Richard Benjamin

Running Time: 91 mins


The Money Pit is an American film about a couple who, after being thrown out of their city apartment, buy a mansion out in the country at a bargain price. However, they soon realise that the house is a total wreck, that begins to fall apart as quickly as their relationship.

This really is terrible. I’m amazed that Tom Hanks came out of his terrible rom-com phase as well as he did, because films like this, which he too is rubbish in, are just painfully unfunny and frustrating to watch. This film in particular is worse, due to its total lack of decent jokes, poor performances, and a really lacklustre attempt at an emotional story.

I’ll start with what I thought was the main problem, even more so than the lack of good humour, the set-up of the story. The first half of this film is just (unfunny) slapstick comedy, which is really boring to watch, but not totally painful. However, as most rom-coms do, this film switches the emphasis from comedy to romance, but in the most abrupt and forced way, where nothing even tries to be funny anymore, and it ends up just being a half an hour shouting fest between the two main character that nearly drove me to insanity.

Anyway, the fact that this film is still not at all funny doesn’t help matters. Even in the period before this just became unbearable, it was still pretty painful to watch, because there were so many attempts at wacky slapstick that fell flat on their face, and left me cringing for the rest of the film, which isn’t a nice feeling.

The two main characters, meant to be a young couple, and their respective actors, Tom Hanks and Shelley Long, have no chemistry on screen whatsoever. The two are meant to be cute and/or committed to one another, however the two actors really seem bored by the other, and are just trying to get through every scene without screaming at each other (which is sort of the point, but it doesn’t feel intentional to me).

The film ends with a period where the two just can’t stand each other anymore, and descend into a series of painful arguments that is meant to be emotionally horrible. Seeing as this isn’t quite pulled off in this film, I expected to see some comedy to support it, however this film tries so hard to be emotional and a little bit serious that it leaves almost all comedy behind, making it feel like some sort of depressing romantic drama by the end, and that’s why it gets a 3.9 from me.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com