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The New Homeowner's Guide to Happiness (1988)

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Too Feeble To Bring Laughter, Too Broad For Satire.
3 April 2005 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

In this poorly developed, approximately 30 minute short film, produced in part by Judge Reinhold for distribution by HBO, Paul and Shirley Darden (Reinhold and a very pregnant Demi Moore) are happy with their newly purchased suburban cul-de-sac home until, after being tormented through 12 sleepless nights due to continually barking dogs, the couple give in to desperation in essaying various methods of quieting the beasts, permanently if necessary, while not alerting pet owners of their plans. The nuisance from barking dogs is bane to many United States city dwellers (comprising the greatest number of law enforcement calls for service), and is a fitting subject for a satiric approach, but this film is more mean-spirited than comedic since both principals, in particular Reinhold, seem to be building up to the verge of distemper more readily than are the canines, with direction being notably weak and the editing clumsy, while attempts at ad-libbing from the poorly structured scenario are awkwardly flat.


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