5.9/10
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25 user 6 critic

How to Beat the High Co$t of Living (1980)

PG | | Comedy, Crime | 11 July 1980 (USA)
Oregon, 1980: Jane, Elaine and Louise are all feeling the effects of inflation and cannot afford, as the title states, the high cost of living. Jane cannot afford a babysitter or get ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jane
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Elaine
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...
Albert
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Max
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Natalie
...
Jack Heintzel
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Robert
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Gas Station Attendant
...
Bill Pike
...
Tom
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Charlotte
Al Checco ...
Tim Lundy
Susan Tolsky ...
Patty
...
Power & Light Man
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Storyline

Oregon, 1980: Jane, Elaine and Louise are all feeling the effects of inflation and cannot afford, as the title states, the high cost of living. Jane cannot afford a babysitter or get married and if she wants privacy with her boyfriend, she has to sleep in the car. Even worse, her war veteran father comes to live with her to turn her life upside down. Louise lives a happy life with her veterinarian husband, Albert. She runs an antique shop on the side, but since it doesn't take in any profit, the IRS considers it a hobby. She needs to come up with the money to keep it going, or she will be trouble with the IRS. Elaine's husband has left her for another woman and without any money. She is in a constant struggle with banks, power companies, and gas stations. She needs money to get by and also catches the eye of police officer Jack. The local mall is having a contest that features a giant money ball that states it will help fight the inflation. Elaine comes up with a plan to steal the ... Written by Pat McCurry

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A hilarious new comedy for everyone who ever wanted to give the oil companies gas pains, turn off the power companies lights and make the banks stand in line for a change. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 July 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

How to Beat the High Cost of Living  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Jane Curtin. See more »

Goofs

A crew member is visible in a car bumper at the start of the garage sale scene. See more »

Quotes

Jane: I know we've only got two days to go, but I don't know why you guys are so mad at me. You know I can't afford a baby-sitter, and Max is at a "Senior Citizens For Reagan" meeting tonight.
Elaine: Jesus, Jane. This is a royal pain in the ass. I mean, tonight's important. We're psychologically testing ourselves by robbing Wheeler's and you bring your kids along. Can't you leave them home just once?
Jane: Are you serious? The last time that I left those two alone Billy took nude pictures of Laurie with his ...
[...]
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Connections

References The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

Did I dress that bad in 70's
16 June 2003 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

Look at those clothes! Look at that wood paneling! Right on!

This movie has everything: ugly shopping mall, kids swearing, an anique shop accually called "the olde antique shop-ee", references to retainers being tightened (not a pleasent memory :P), people smoking everywhere, Jane Curtain exposing herself!

The writing is some of the worst I have experienced. You're in for a treat. The exposition is clumsy. The jokes are so corny. The storyline is literally held together with a wad of scotch tape and long string of contrived gags, dated jokes, and tired film conventions.

However, I liked it. Call me crazy. It had heart. The comedic timing is right on. All three of the female leads are genuinely funny and they had true chemistry. Jane Curtain is hilarious, she can really take some pretty bad writing and work magic with it. (hey just look at Saturday night live!). In the end, there's always a generous supply of stock characters for all the ladies to play off of. Not only did I get a kick from the endless economy jokes, but the endless wardrobe changes, and endless earthtones. (The whole movie is one big blur of brown and green.)

I honestly can't rate this movie, because it is beyond classification. Just wait until it comes on cable and tune in


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