Richard Benjamin directs Tom Hanks, Shelley Long and Alexander Godunov in this comedy were a struggling couple buy a mansion at a suspiciously low price.
A project worked up to be a Spielberg blockbuster but then cast aside to a lesser director be an Amblin side bet while he made The Color Purple. Early Tom Hanks, peak Shelley Long, Gordon Willis cinematography. A house that self destructs like the world’s most expensive domino rally. We watched this endlessly as kids. Had it taped off of telly on one those Long Play blank cassettes that we had stretched to fit four films on. Four! Imagine it… Fletch, Ferris Bueller, Dragnet and this. Probably even had the ghost of D.A.R.Y.L. or The Naked Gun floating around at the end from a mistimed recording. Or some retro adverts. That’s the only tape you’ll need. Pretty sure we missed the first five minutes of this to fit it on. That didn’t matter (unless you wanted to get the bookending joke?!) What mattered is watching Hank lose it, scramble, howl and deadpan as his investment blows up in his face. Also – Shelley Long is hot in this. I wouldn’t have realised this at Ages 7-13 when I last watched it. But with this and Cheers I reckon I was being programmed. Brainwashed! Plus – the theme song that lays out the plot over shots of New York is a lost banger. The Heart Is So Willing by Stephen Bishop, why you not on ITunes? Lighthearted, silly… but a seminal part of my childhood.
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