Man Trouble (1992) Poster


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Gone to the dogs
jotix10013 December 2005
Bob Rafelson is a puzzling director. After his big successes with "Fiver Easy Pieces" and "The King of Marvin Gardens", Mr. Rafelson doesn't seem to come out with a film project that will take him back to his past glory. This is evident with the disastrous "Man Trouble" shown on cable recently.

The film is a mess. Jack Nicholson, an actor who has worked with the director before with better results, plays the main role of Harry Bliss a trainer of dogs without any redeeming qualities. Harry is married to an Oriental woman and is working his marital problems with a counselor. Harry gets involved with Ellen Barkin, who is being stalked. The solution is to get a German Shephard dog to protect her. She has moved to her sister's swanky home where probably the only funny scene happens. We watch Ms. Barkin working with the dog and all her commands have to be in German, otherwise the dog doesn't respond! The others in the cast are totally wasted. Beverly D'Angelo has some good moments. Michael McKean, Saul Rubineck, Henry Dean Stanton, are seen in supporting roles.

See if there is something else to watch, but don't make the same mistake we made.
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Surprised me
walrus2927 May 2005
I found this movie in the $5.50 bin of Wal-Mart and only got it because it had Jack Nicholson in it. I had extremely low expectations, which is probably why I got such a surprise--This movie is hilarious.

It has a very dry line of sarcasm running all the way through it, particularly in the off-the-wall arguments between Nicholson's character and the wife.

Taking everything literally will not help you understand the humor. You have to view every line as some sort of comeback to a previous one, and that's when you see the laughable irony in the film. It really did surprise me; I enjoyed it!

And the acting is stellar. The characters really are portrayed well. They're all very comical characters, full of flaws, which just makes them more realistic in a rather ridiculous plot which honestly could have been thrown out the window.

Personally, I would have loved to just see a film about the marriage counseling, which is only glimpsed at, between Nicholson and his wife. Some of the funniest moments are in that part of the film, but, like I said, it's dry.

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May-December Romance Too Hard To Believe
Ankhoryt24 September 2008
I love Ellen Barkin, 'deed I do, but even she cannot make the romance with Jack Nicholson believable here. Even back in 1992, Nicholson was TOO OLD to play a romantic lead with a woman seventeen years his junior.

I was getting the creeps watching this in the fall of 2008, and suddenly I realized why. The pairing reminds me of John McCain and his trophy wife, Cindy. McCain: born 1936. Nicholson: born 1937. Cindy and Barkin: both born 1954.

It's obnoxious, the way Hollywood continues to indulge Nicholson (and, presumably, equally elderly male producers and writers) with this assumption that an audience can believe gorgeous young women will fall all over him. Oh, spare me. And start giving actresses Nicholson's own age parts like the plums HE gets, or at least, parts playing his love interest.

I like dogs, I like Ellen Barkin, and that's why I was able to endure the movie at all, though I was embarrassed for her being stuck with such a ludicrous part - and one which, in a movie meant to be funny, failed to take full advantage of her talent for comedy, especially her considerable physical comedy chops.

Also loved Lauren Tom as the Nicholson's wife! Again, the age difference is severe - Tom was born in 1961, making her fully 24 years younger than Nicholson and his character - but Tom's put-on accent (she was born in Chicago) and Nicholson's overall sleaziness suggest that she's a mail-order bride struggling to make the best of a groom who calls her "Iwo Jima." Tom, like Barkin, deserves better writing than this.

One star for Barkin, one star for Tom, and one star for the dog. Zero stars for the rest of it, particularly casting Nicholson and for the overly-complex plot lines.
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Not Even Jack Nicholson Can Save This One
tfrizzell4 November 2000
Dreadful Jack Nicholson vehicle from 1992 that is just not very good at all. Nicholson stars as a guard-dog trainer who becomes involved with a woman who is being stalked (Ellen Barkin). This is supposed to be a comedy, but nothing is very funny. The stalking side-story is used to cover up dead spots in the film, but this fails to work. This creates a film that is not very funny and not very dramatic. It is a film that is just in limbo. Bob Rafelson, usually a great director, just does not have it here. The screenplay is awful and overall the film is awful. Only the greatest Jack Nicholson fans will get anything worthwhile out of "Man Trouble". 2 stars out of 5.
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Not that bad...even good
therm19 December 2004
Well, I saw the movie last night and have to agree with Alex here. I think most people here expected more than just an entertaining movie. The humor is based on silly situations and conversations, and if you can't laugh about something just because it's so darn silly, you indeed won't like the humor in this movie. I can appreciate that humor from time to time, and yesterday was one of those times. I expected nothing much from this movie and it turned out good for me. And Nicholson plays it alright if you ask me (since some are of another opinion here). My opinion: a nice one for down the road, when you're out of options to do something and you just want to lay back and think about nothing...
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Not one of my favorites, but I liked it.
drturbo-36 March 2000
I saw this movie on a second-class channel this Sunday, and I have to say that I liked it. It's just a romantic comedy, and if you keep that in mind, you will also like it. Of course, maybe Jack Nicholson is overcasted, but it proves how capable is he of doing any kind of character, in any kind of movie. It doesn't worth buying, but I think it worth the rental fee.
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Should have been good...
Amnes11 June 2005
With the talent involved here, it should have been a much better film than it is. Music by Georges Delarue, director Bob Rafelson...

Basically it's a lightweight romantic comedy which is attempting to emulate classics comedies about a rich girl meets non-rich guy (think Katherine Hepburn) but it just doesn't have the class or punch of earlier classics in this genre.

The cheap looking opening credits/cartoon are the first indication that something is amiss here. The first half is quite OK but after that, you just don't care enough about these people to stay with the film. There's something incredibly shallow about all those involved and the 'comedy' is just too obvious...problem animal, hispanic housekeeper, mismatched/deceived couples.

I don't think it's until Harry Dean Stanton makes an appearance quite late in the film that you think, aaah, now we've got a movie. But it's all too late.
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I Disagree
a_visable_dark17 November 2007
OK...this movie may not be academy award material, but it does have a quaint little charm to it that makes it an enjoyable little movie. The relationship that builds between Jack Nicholson and Ellen Barkin goes from little more than an intended con job (he's being blackmailed to steal a manuscript for a tell-all book from one of his clients) on the part of Nicholson to something very strong between the two. A strong friendship also develops between Nicholson and the dog he uses as part of his scam. The movies funniest moment stem from Nicholson's frustration over his feelings for Barkin and what he has to do to get the manuscript. Although not widely received by critics and considers a rather large flop, Man Trouble has a sincere charm to it that makes it a long as you're not a snobby wannabe film critic, i believe if you give the film a chance, you will come to really enjoy it.
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Main actor is not even given credit
khatcher-214 December 2001
The only good thing about this film is the dog - and he does not even appear on the credits, poor fellow. Even then, he just is not in the canine oscar league, as he is evidently overshadowed by other more gifted mongrels and thoroughbreds alike in dozens of films. Anyway, 4 for the dog, 3 for the film and near zero for ........who was the main actor? Oh,......Jack Nicholson. He must have rolled this one between good drinking sessions with his Las Vegas buddies. I'll give him half a point ....... and only because it was not Bruce Willis.
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whpratt128 January 2003
If it were not for great acting skillings by Ellen Barkin and Beverly D'Angelo, this film would never have been produced, they held up the leading male actor and the dog stole the show from everyone.

This had to be the worst film of 1992, no laughs for me at all.
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Barkin and Nicholson and Failure
nycritic17 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I could never tell what this movie was supposed to be about when it came out. I recall going to the theatres on the basis that this was a Bob Rafelson film and having seen some of his better work I was in anticipation of his (then) latest outing.

I couldn't have been more disappointed. A movie that is supposed to be a romantic comedy, with screwball sparks flying left and right between Ellen Barkin and Jack Nicholson, a strong cast that was little more than vaguely visible, and a story that if it was meant to make sense, somehow, it just managed to become a big flop.

A lack of focus and trying to look funnier and crazier than it really is, MAN TROUBLE is just a bad movie that has the logic of a ball of yarn and the novelty of a story that's been done to death, and then some.
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Everybody loves Jack!
imseeg29 April 2018
I think "Man Trouble" is one of Jack Nicholson's funniest movies. He doesnt try to be funny, he is just his usual frustrated self, but that is part of the charm of this buddha figure of the acting world. Jack is funny and charming even when he just would sit in a chair. In "Man Trouble¨ Jack plays a dog trainer who comes to the rescue of the lovely Ellen Barkin, who is being stalked by some mysterious creep. That's why even feminists love this movie. Jack Nicholson "looks upon a woman as a whole", end of quote. A budding romance, hilariously funny nigthly attacks by the stalker and a lot of hilarious woman vs men jokes are what follows.

"Man Trouble" is a gem of a comedy. I have been cherishing this movie for years. Seen it multiple times and I keep loving it. The woman vs man jokes are just to die for. Hilarious. Good date movie. But it is more than that. Comedies often get underrated by the oscars. Correction, they get underrated ALL the time by the oscars. But I appreciate a good laugh better than "The Godfather" how magnificent that movie might be. A comedy I can watch time and again and it will make me feel good, while an excellent masterpiece like "The Godfather" will surely entice me into heaven, but there is a limit to how much drama I can take every month. Therefore I really cherish movies like "Man Trouble" because they have that rare feel good touch, that works as a charm EVERY time I want some comic relief...

Great soundtrack by the way and also great supporting actors: Harry Dean Stanton, Veronica Cartwright who both starred together in "Alien".
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Decent romantic comedy with light hearted laughs, even if it seems a little out of place for the legendary Jack.
blanbrn23 April 2008
1992's "Man Trouble" clearly just doesn't hold much interest or provide much intrigue for a view really somewhat of a letdown from director Bob Rafelson as a complex plot and lack of seriousness weigh the film down. Even though Jack's role seems out of place as clearly the romantic comedy genre has never been his cup of tea. Still Nicholson gives a bold and well done direct performance as Harry Bliss who's a wisecracking womanizer(certainly something Jack can relate to in real life)who runs a guard dog agency of all things! When a woman named Joan(Ellen Barkin)who's a lonely opera singer has her home broken into and robbed she seeks his aid and service. Then Joan moves into the mansion house of her free spirited and eccentric sister Andy(Beverly D' Angelo), yet trouble follows her and Harry as they always seem at the mercy and the target of hit men. The film then takes a wild chase of schemes involving shady characters and hit men that's blended in with the out of control canines and some romance between Harry and Joan. Overall this film is nothing great it moves pretty well yet the plot is so boring and dull with the humor being very offbeat while the romance is impossible for the key characters to obtain. Still it's worth a watch if your a Nicholson fan as Jack always delivers even in bad films, plus Beverly and Ellen both provide a sense of spice and sugar sex appeal to a film that went to the dogs.
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Barkin and Nicholson can't save this "dog"
smatysia17 October 2003
I'm a huge fan of Ellen Barkin. She's just soooo cute. Nicholson usually provides one with good entertainment value. But even they couldn't rescue this one. It really wasn't very funny, and not all that romantic. I understand Nicholson has/had a certain charisma that overcame his looks when he was in his 30's and 40's. But I just can't see Barkin's character falling for him. Not believeable. Worth seeing for fans of Barkin, but even they will know it's not very good. Grade: D-
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Movie trouble
julesrules15 July 2002
Despite the fact that this movie has Jack Nicholson, it isn't saved by it. How much I would like to love everything Mr Nicholson does, I just cannot get used to his more "dumb" roles, like in this one, like in Prizzi's Honor and The Fortune. I think I read somewhere that Mr Nicholson is good in comedies in which the situation is funny, not the character he's playing, and I have to say I quite agree with that. I mean, As Good As It Gets is rated a comedy but, oh my god, what a difference with this one.

About the film: it's weak. As I said, Mr Nicholson doesn't save it and Ms Barkin is a non-interesting person and completely miscasted for this one: she's not funny, but irritating. Anyway, the plot is weak, the "jokes" are weak and the acting is weak. I cannot even say something about the directing, because I'm not sure whether there was one...

I cannot live with myself to rate a movie with Mr Nicholson less than 5 out of 10, so I gave it 5. Without him, it would probably have been 4.
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Perhaps the rental fee would be better spent on a six-pack
honesty17 December 1998
How Nicholson could let himself be talked into this loser is beyond me. I hope that the producer lost whatever he had on Jack 'cause I don't want to see another wreck like this for quite a while.
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Inconsequential fluff
gridoon201913 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It's not unwelcome, once in a while, to find a movie that's not self-important at all, that doesn't want to explain or change the world, but simply wants to give you a good time. That doesn't mean, however, that such a movie should have a story so thin that it can be effectively summed up in a 2-minute opening credits animated sequence! As a comedy, "Man Trouble" has a few hearty laughs, but way too few, as a romance it is predictable, and as for the "mystery" of Ellen Barkin's stalker, you'll know who it is before it is revealed. The movie has a great cast, but it's mostly underutilized: Barkin's role is somewhat of a change-of-pace (she usually plays more assertive and confident women), while Jack Nicholson's good-hearted scoundrel is a more familiar turn. ** out of 4.
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Man Trouble- More than Male Trouble Here **
edwagreen17 November 2007
Bob Rafelson, who directed Jack Nicholson in "5 Easy Pieces," has the honors of directing him in this comedy, which unfortunately falls flat.

Nicholson co-stars with Ellen Barkin. Beverly D'Angelo co-stars as well, but Miss D'Angelo can't get a good role since "Coal Miner's Daughter."

Nicholson is Harry Bliss in this one. He is a dog-trainer with a past. Barkin and D'Angelo are sisters going through hard times. Barkin, an opera singer, is in the process of divorcing her husband and sister, D'Angelo, has a manuscript that the mob wants.When Barkin's home is robbed, she takes refuge in D'Angelo's house when the latter goes away. When threatened there, she meets Nicholson who sells her a trained dog.

The film deals with how the 2 fall in love but then really goes down hill when they attempt to rescue D'Angelo, who the mob has set up in a mental hospital. In addition to this, the mob attorney, Saul Rubinek, had asked Nicholson to work for them in an attempt to get the manuscript back.

The humor is thin here. Nicholson has a Japanese wife referred to as Iwo Jima. How gross!
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