House of Yes, The

Reviewed By Thom
Posted 06/17/99 20:36:28

"Wickedly amusing"
3 stars (Average)

Ah, the charming eccentricities of the idle rich. Killing husbands, sleeping with brothers, Dressing up like Jackie Onassis ...

The story is fairly simple. Brother goes home with fiancee to meet family. Sister is ex-girlfriend. Mom dissuades brother. Younger brother seduces girlfriend. Bang up surprise ending.
Its fresh, its new, its exhilirating. It somehow makes incest seem not so bad. I give it a thumb up your ass.

The characters are sophisticated and eccentric. They don't parade their erudition but it is notable throughout the film.

Freddie Prinze, Jr, Josh Hamilton, Parker Posey and Genevieve Bujold all turn in great performances. Parker has a tendency to play shades of the same character but I'm a big fan of Ms. Posey, so who cares. I like the characters she chooses to play and I think her presence lends the right kind of atmosphere to the kind of film where quirky bordering on insane, with a socially progressive and hip sensibility is required. Parker gets to this place in her performances where you'd think anyone else would just stop, but she takes it another step. She can go over the top without it appearing contrived because I'm convinced she's insane. okay, maybe not insane, but she's totally hyper.

House of Yes is a romp on the dark side of irony. If the strength of this screenplay is the portrayal of Jackie O and Marty's incestuous relationship, then its weakness is the use of Marty's girlfriend to set up some kind of conflict. I can think of several ways to have introduced conflict into the story without having to have had the foil of the girlfriend. But it gives the story a few convenient back doors and simplifies the writers job.

She did, however, give the younger brother, played by Fred Prinze, some reason to exist in the script.

The ABC after school special they wouldn't air. The moral of the story? don't fall in love with your brother, go crazy, and then kill him.

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