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Ball in the House (2001)

 -  Drama | Comedy  -  June 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 279 users  
Reviews: 8 user

A troubled 17-year-old struggles to adjust to life after rehab.



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Title: Ball in the House (2001)

Ball in the House (2001) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aunt Dot
Dr. Charlie
Nathan Kiley ...
Uncle Ernie
Officer Waters (as Gregory Sandquist)
Eddie Bo Smith Jr. ...
Recruiting Officer
Amy Zimmerman ...
Anchorwoman Cindi
Larry Nash ...
Anchorman Bob
Jonah Marsh ...
AA Woman (as Jonah Lisa Marsh)
Stephen J. Rose ...
AA Man (as Stephen Rose)


Locked away in a court-ordered drug rehab for six months, fragilely sober JJ White is finally back home, but with family and friends still financially stung from his drug-induced escapades, reactions are mixed and extreme over his return. Most crucial to his maintained recovery, however, is Aunt Dot's new $75,000 life insurance policy drawn up against JJ having a fatal relapse before his eighteenth birthday. With the temptation of money before them, wheels turn, loyalties shift, and clandestine alliances form to ensure that JJ and his new-found sobriety have a short lifespan. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Misery Loves Family. See more »


Drama | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug and alcohol content, and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Relative Evil  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

| |


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[first lines]
JJ: I've never been so drunk I couldn't drive. I've been so drunk I couldn't climb stairs; I've been so drunk I couldn't get my fly open and instead I tried to pee down my leg through the cuff; but, I've always been able to drive home afterwards. So, I'm pretty cooked... but it's a freeway. Who can fuck up a freeway? I mean you get on the ramp and off you go. But, then, the world's full of assholes and, sure enough, about six miles from my home I net one. He's driving north on the ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Filmmakers Would Like to Thank... John Swan, who was the smartest man in the world See more »

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User Reviews

Great Movie with Amazing Performances!
18 August 2002 | by (California) – See all my reviews

I just saw this movie at the Malibu Film Festival and thought that it was quite wonderful. The story is about a young man named JJ who at 17 years old has been sent away to rehab after driving drunk and getting into an accident. After 6 months away, he returns home to not so open arms. While his mother is excited to see him, his step-father thinks he's a huge screw-up and won't let him live down his previous life as an alcoholic. Meanwhile, his aunt Dot has taken out a $75,000 life insurance policy on JJ and plans to lure him back to drugs and alcohol, and hopefully into an early grave before his 18th birthday. JJ has to struggle to stay sobber amongst his constantly boozing aunt, partying ex-girlfriend, and drug dealing best friend Bobby, whom he owes $3,500.

While the story itself is really good, the main thing that makes this movie worth seeing it the terrific performances from everyone involved. Jonathan Tucker is fantastic as the emotionally troubled JJ, and convincingly portrays all the emotions of his character. The only other thing I've seen him in is The Deep End, and while I disliked that movie, his performance there was solid as well. I expect great things from him. And Jennifer Tilly is, of course, perfect as the seductive aunt Dot, who plans to kill JJ for half of his insurance money. The real star of this movie, however, is Ethan Embry, who gives the most

amazing performance I've seen out of him yet. I've been a fan since I saw All I Want For Christmas as the age of 9 or 10, and consider Empire Records one of my favorite movies, but this, this is the movie where he really shines. He plays JJ's drug dealing best friend Bobby, who is willing to break JJ's legs if he doesn't get the $3,500 owed to him by JJ's 18th birthday (just 16 days away). He convincingly portrays a scary, intimidating, just plain crazy guy, and I loved every second.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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