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The Money Pit Movie Review

Few movies succeed in casting something as inane as a house as something that drives the storyline. The Money pit is a movie about a young lawyer, Walter, and his girlfriend. Tom Hanks plays the part of Walter Fielding whilst Shelley Long plays Ann. When Walter learns of his father’s embezzlement of millions from their clients and is fleeing the country with his new bride, he has to vacate his apartment and find a new home. He learns of a distressed mansion whose owner is prepared to sell for $200, 000.

The owner, Estelle claims that she needs to sell because her husband has been arrested and also that she has been keeping the house lit in candlelight to keep the lawyers off. The two couple decide to borrow money and contribute equally to the buying and renovations of the house. Anna turns to her self-absorbed ex-husband, Max who has just returned from a European tour. Their original plan is to renovate the house in two weeks, but things don’t actually work out as they expect.

Everything to do with the home renovation turns into a nightmare as doors come off the hinges, wiring burn, food burns in the oven, raccoons take refuge in the dumbwaiter, roofs leak and the bath tub crashes through ceilings. It almost seems that the house is intent on chasing its occupants out by manifesting all the problems that can arise all at once.

the movie posted for the money pittThe movie is full of gags you can probably anticipate, but the timing and delivery make each catastrophe funnier. When the contractors are called in, they go on to tear the house down spending the down payment that Walter had placed for repairs and leaving the couple embroiled in building permit bureaucracy. Walter becomes increasingly frustrated as it becomes clear that this renovation will cost them more than they have the funds to afford.

The repair work goes on for four months despite contractors affirmations that they could do the job in two weeks. When they realise that they need to get more money, Anna turns to her ex-husband again. She agrees to a dinner with him and after one too many glasses of wine, she finds herself waking up at his house. He leads her into believing that they slept together when in truth he had spent the night on a couch. Walter confronts Anna about sleeping with her ex and she admits to it. Anna and Walter’s relationship seems to be crumbling along with the house. There is a happy ending though, which seems gratuitous and unnecessary, like someone was trying to remind viewers that it was a romantic movie.

The movie only cost $10 million to make and earned $55 million in box office sales. It is one of those movies that showed how utterly funny Tom Hanks can be. Critics might have slammed it upon release, but they could not eviscerate it because it had its saving moments where the jokes are really funny, even if they were predictable, except for that one scene where the kitchen wiring starts a fire sending their roast dinner flying through the house and landing in the bathroom. There are so many gags, its so hard not to laugh.

Will this movie appeal to you?

There are a lot of people who can relate to the nightmares of renovations, dry rot and building contractors who do not keep their promises. Being a DIY, home renovation and building maintenance website, we know that this film will suit our subscriber demographic.

Richard Benjamin directed movie and while he has been described as being banal and filling it with too many slapstick jokes, yet this is probably Tom Hanks best comedic role. It wasn’t created to be intellectually stimulating or to give you some deep insight about love.

It’s a romantic comedy, but a clever one (unlike many we have been presented with over the recent years). The romance spectrum of it is secondary and comedy takes over and dominates in an unapologetic manner. If you’re currently frustrated with some home renovation problems yourself, perhaps its time to take a break and lighten the mood with some classic home reno comedy. The Cornall team give The Money Pit 7/10.