Saturday, June 18, 2011

Playing House a stinker

Playing House     Coming to DVD this Tuesday, July 21st is Playing House. A married couple, Jen (Sarah Prikryl, 11 Minutes Ago) and Mitch (Craig Welzbacher, also 11 M A), move into a beautiful, brand new house, but find they can't really afford to pay for it. To help make the mortgage payments, they ask best friend Danny (Matt Lusk) to stay in their spare bedroom. It isn't long before Danny meets a girl named Blair (Mayra Leal, Machete), and she begins sleeping over immediately. But Blair is much more interested in Mitch than Danny, and when Danny suggests they get their own place, things begin to go horribly wrong.

     The plot is thin and the acting is weak. None of the four main characters show much emotional death, though Prikryl comes the closest as she feels Mitch pull away from her. Or maybe she just thinks he is. He does seem emotionally distant, but he is still loyal to the wife that he loves. It's a bit confusing how he feels, exactly, and that can be blamed on Welzbacher, as well as the script. At least Lusk plays Danny straight forward, and his motivations are never in question. Then again, there don't seem to be many facets to Danny, so it's not a challenge to figure him out.

     Leal herself is as terrible as the character of Blair. How does someone with so much mental instability manage to continue having a life? A subplot involving an investigator following her because of some other bad things she did goes nowhere, and explains little. Given Blair's sloppiness as she lets her evil out, it is doubtful she got away without leaving any evidence the first time. It's hard to believe that she's less careful during her second go round.

     Creepy genre music is not only stereotypical, it is used in odd places, and way too often before any suspense actually enters the plot. By the time things start to head south, viewers will be immune to the musical cues, and not even notice them anymore. If anything, the musis detracts from an already horrible film.

     Other movies have done this type of story many times before, and usually much better. This feels like an extremely low budget indie film made with the writer / director's friends who will never act again in anything. Some of the performers have TV guest star credits in some major shows, but none have an extensive resume, so maybe there is some truth to that theory.

     I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this movie to anyone. If you decide to see it, or worse yet, buy it, keep in mind that you were warned. Unless you love cheesy, badly made movies, which is a pasttime for many an under-the-influence college student. If you fit into that category, feel free to partake.

     Playing House will be released on DVD Tuesday, June 21st.

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