Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The House Of Yes

This adaptation of Wendy MacLeod's dysfunctional-family-themed black comedy was a big hit at Sundance, thanks largely to Parker Posey's exuberantly dark performance. Amidst all the kitchen dramas and Hollywood child-prostitution sagas, it probably looked better then than it does now. That's not to say there aren't a lot of good things about the film; it's a smart, occasionally sharp piece that takes on some difficult issues concerning familial relations and popular culture. It just loses its momentum early on. Posey plays Jackie O. Not the Jackie O, but a young woman obsessed with her. Twenty years after the Kennedy assassination, her brother (Josh Hamilton), with whom she has had an unusually intimate relationship, brings home a fiancée (Tori Spelling) for Thanksgiving, and what's left of her stability begins to crumble. Everyone in the cast is fine, removing the potential for morbid fascination that would normally come with a Spelling child's big-screen debut. As the matriarch, the long-absent and much-missed Genevieve Bujold has the best character and the best lines, but nobody in the film is really wanting of either. So what's wrong with it? Simply this: Once the situation involving the unhealthy family is established, there's nothing much else to be done, and the remainder of The House Of Yes seems like a series of shrill repetitions of the same theme. Director Mark Waters has done probably the best possible job translating the material to film, and the truly filmic moments work well, but with this dialogue-heavy material, it's like trying to translate Run-DMC lyrics into Old French. It always seems to be inching toward something, and offering plenty of interesting elements as it does, but The House Of Yes ultimately doesn't go anywhere.

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