6.0/10
6,080
42 user 11 critic

Houseguest (1995)

PG | | Comedy | 6 January 1995 (USA)
In hot water with the mob over an unpaid debt, a con man poses as a family friend in an affluent Pennsylvania suburb.

Director:

Randall Miller
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Class Act (1992)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A valedictorian and a juvenile delinquent have their school records switched and begin to be treated like the other.

Director: Randall Miller
Stars: Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin, Andre Rosey Brown
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A black detective becomes embroiled in a web of danger while searching for a fortune in missing drug money.During the course of his investigation, he encounters various old connections, ... See full summary »

Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Stars: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Charles S. Dutton, Jada Pinkett Smith
ATL (2006)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

As four friends prepare for life after high school, different challenges bring about turning points in each of their lives. The dramas unfold and resolve at their local rollerskating rink, Cascade.

Director: Chris Robinson
Stars: T.I., Lauren London, Evan Ross
Next Day Air (2009)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Two inept criminals are mistakenly delivered a package of cocaine and think they've hit the jackpot, triggering a series of events that changes ten people's lives forever.

Director: Benny Boom
Stars: Yasiin Bey, Mike Epps, Donald Faison
Senseless (1998)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A student gets his senses enhanced by an experimental drug. But abuse is not an option.

Director: Penelope Spheeris
Stars: Marlon Wayans, David Spade, Brad Dourif
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

As Carl Black gets the opportunity to move his family out of Chicago in hope of a better life, their arrival in Beverly Hills is timed with that city's annual purge, where all crime is legal for twelve hours.

Director: Deon Taylor
Stars: Mike Epps, Zulay Henao, Alex Henderson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The big screen adaptation of Perry's stage play about the trials of marriage, and what happens to one family when a sexy young temptress arrives on the scene.

Director: Tyler Perry
Stars: Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson, Sharon Leal
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The owner of an historic South Side Chicago barbershop is pressured to sell out to a land developer, but must face the impact this would have on his close-knit community.

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Stars: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve
Drumline (2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A band director recruits a Harlem street drummer to play at a Southern university.

Director: Charles Stone III
Stars: Nick Cannon, Zoe Saldana, Orlando Jones
Head of State (2003)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

When a presidential candidate dies unexpectedly in the middle of the campaign, Washington, D.C. alderman, Mays Gilliam is unexpectedly picked as his replacement.

Director: Chris Rock
Stars: Chris Rock, Bernie Mac, Lynn Whitfield
House Party 2 (1991)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

When Kid's college money is stolen by a crooked music promoter, Play's solution is to stage the 'mutha' of all pajama parties. Starring Kid 'n Play and Martin Lawrence.

Directors: George Jackson, Doug McHenry
Stars: Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin, Martin Lawrence
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Jack Cates once again enlists the aid of ex-con Reggie Hammond--this time, to take down The Iceman, a ruthless drug lord operating in the San Francisco bay area.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte, Brion James
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sinbad ... Kevin Franklin
Phil Hartman ... Gary Young
Kim Greist ... Emily Young
Kim Murphy ... Brooke Young
Chauncey Leopardi ... Jason Young
Talia Seider Talia Seider ... Sarah Young
Paul Ben-Victor ... Pauly Gasperini
Tony Longo ... Joey Gasperini
Jeffrey Jones ... Ron Timmerman
Stan Shaw ... Larry the Tattoo Artist
Ron Glass ... Dr. Derek Bond
Kevin Jordan Kevin Jordan ... Steve 'ST-3'
Mason Adams ... Mr. Pike
Patricia Fraser Patricia Fraser ... Nancy Pike
Don Brockett ... Happy Marcelli
Edit

Storyline

Kevin Franklin is a con man whose mouth is bigger than him, but it doesn't help him much when he's in with the mob for $50,000. Trying to avoid a gambling addict boss, and his two stupid henchmen, Kevin poses as a childhood friend to Gary Young, a workaholic father whose own life is in turmoil in an affluent Pennsylvania suburb. Written by MonkeyKingMA

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They were just your average, uptight suburban family until Kevin Franklin stepped into the picture. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, double entendre humor and some comic violence | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Convidado à Força See more »

Filming Locations:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$10,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$26,325,256
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

John Candy first choice to play Kevin Franklin, but he died before filming began. See more »

Goofs

When the bad guys catch up to the real Derek, one of them punches him in the face. As he falls his cap falls off twice. See more »

Quotes

Joey Gasperini: WHERE'S THE DOUGH?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Sinbad and Phil Hartman sing several food-themed parodies over the credits with music and a chorus in the background. Phil Hartman uses the name "Sinbad" during these songs instead of either of the character's names from the movie. See more »

Connections

References Driving Miss Daisy (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Ha Ha in the House
Written by Mike Watts, Randall Miller, Jody Savin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Dumb comedy or one of the best films of the '90s?
10 November 2002 | by DoobieKeeblerSee all my reviews

The comic genius and timing of stars Sinbad and Phil Hartman take what could have been a run-of-the-mill dumb comedy film and turn it into a wonderfully likeable tour-de-force. The premise has been done time and time again, it's basically a "fish out of water" story. Yes, the gangsters are dumb almost to the point where they're annoying. Sure, we see the message coming from a mile away.

But there are a few things that separate this film from other comedies, and elevate to the status of excellence. First of all, it's hilarious. There are few jokes that don't work and they are immediately forgotten as this fast-paced romp wastes no time. The speed-up of scenes and the quick editing (several shots seem to last for no longer than a few seconds) do get a slight bit irritating, but it serves its purpose by catering to the fast-paced story and Sinbad's style of comedy. Take for instance, the party scene in which Sinbad is explaining what the "GFH" on his suit jacket stands for. Slow down the scene, and it loses the humor.

Since the McDonald's issue has been cited again and again in reviews with varying degrees of criticism, let me address it briefly. First of all, there are a lot of people who love to eat McDonald's food. It's not healthy for you, but you'd be lying if you say that it tastes awful. Now, Sinbad's character is established as the lazy, unhealthy, always-eating slacker from the very beginning as he comes home to his apartment and enjoys his McDonald's and 2 liter bottle of soda. The real Derek Bond is completely contrasted with the impostor Derek Bond's lifestyle. Hence the fish out of water comedy. Sinbad's character is put in a desperate situation where he assumes this other man's life and the man he is pretending to be is the complete opposite of him. He's got a successful career as a dentist and he maintains a strict diet of vegetables and muescli cereal. So, when Sinbad's Kevin Franklin character, in this awkward and unfamiliar situation of staying with a suburban family's house and pretending to be someone who everyone expects to be a health-conscious stuffy professional, manages to escape for a moment and sees the familiar golden arches, he's so happy that he feels like he's in a commercial. He knows McDonald's and in many places, McDonald's seems to be an unchanging, constant source of familiar greasy food. McDonald's works in the context of the film because it's a real fast-food place that we can relate to, because we've all eaten there at one time or another. To me, if there was some fictional place like "Lou's Hamburgers", it wouldn't work. The character design might come through, but there could be no jingle resounding in our heads, and it'd take you out of the reality of the story (which I discuss in next paragraph). Yes, McDonald's is a real fast-food joint, and Kevin Franklin loves to eat there. Does that make "Houseguest" a McDonald's commercial? I don't think that it does, I think it maintains an element of reality that we as viewers can relate to. Perhaps we needn't always be so cynical as some professional film critics are.

Now, I mention the 'reality' of "Houseguest" and you must think I'm absolutely crazy. Houseguest is an unrealistic film that requires you to throw logic out the door entirely if you wish to enjoy it, right? Well, not necessarily. I think looking back at this film, eight years after it was made, we can look at the family suburban life depicted, and notice the real-ness of the characters. Phil Hartman's character Gary Young is a hard-working businessman at a law firm. He sucks up to his boss and the boss's wife and spends more time with his job than his family. Gary's wife tries to be there for her family, but she's taken on a career with frozen yogurt stores and it's turning out to be far more time-consuming than she imagined.

Then, there are the three children. The oldest girl is distancing herself from her family, trying to find comfort in a "Goth" phase, taking pleasure from sad poetry and a boyfriend who seems to think that he's a tough kid from the hood. The middle child is the only son, Jason. He tries to win his father's approval by playing basketball and hoping to be good. The youngest daughter seems not to be getting any attention, either. Her busy parents don't have time for her, and she's been getting lessons from television programs instead.

The dysfunctional middle-class family serves as a foil for Kevin Franklin, pretending to be someone he is not, who will ultimately find the desire to help these people, who have unknowingly opened up their home to him, a complete stranger. Kevin Franklin doesn't have a job, a family, or kids, and yet it his interactions with the Young family that allow both them and he to better themselves.

Now, if you've seen the movie, you're probably reading this and thinking, "This guy's nuts. He's completely overanalyzing some stupid comedy." Well, perhaps I am. "Houseguest" is indeed a silly, hectic fish-out-of-water comedy; somewhat formulaic, but very much successful. However, to dismiss the film as 'bad' or a 'stupid comedy' is a superficial assessment of a film that really has a lot going for it.

Sure, the film is glossy and not without faults, but then, so is life and the people that we interact with. "Houseguest" is a winning comedy, and one of my favorite films of the 1990s. It presents laughs but also provides a realistic look at individual and family life in the '90s, even if this comes out of an unrealistic set-up of a man assuming another identity to avoid the mob.

Much-maligned and underappreciated, "Houseguest" is a gem of a family comedy that I certainly hope you will give a chance. Or if you initially didn't like it, some more thought on these matters and maybe a second chance.


21 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 42 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed