Open House (2004) Poster


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Funny,weird, and totally fresh
Sara Lee17 November 2004
On Friday night October 15th, a friend and I went to the Austin Film Festival screening of Open House. I'd read that it was a no-budget musical, and I wasn't expecting a lot. What I saw was clearly made on the cheap. But it was also funny, weird, and totally fresh.

The movie starts with a clever montage of that suburban ritual-the placing of open house flags and signs. Most of the main characters are introduced here. We see real estate agent Barry(Anthony Rapp) set up an open house. Yes, there are finger sandwiches. A couple(James Duval and Kellie Martin) argue over the home listing while in bed. Dave(Jerry Doyle)robs a jewelry store, then gets stuck when his junky car won't start.A pair of dubious cops(Robert Peters and Hedy Burress) play slap and tickle while investigating the jewelry store.

All these characters collide at Barry's open house. It becomes clear that nobody is who they seem. I could never predict what was going to happen next. The craziness, lies, and musical numbers spill over into other houses. We meet drunken real estate agent Marjorie(Sally Kellerman), hilarious as she shamelessly flirts while offering home shoppers drinks.

"Open House" is like "Mad Mad Mad MAd World" meets "Rent" All the characters get cool musical numbers and funny one liners, even as their deep, personal flaws/secrets are revealed. Writers Mirvish and Maddox keep the story zipping around corners you won't see coming, and they also score with some nice songs.

"Sellin' A Dream," Kellerman's duet with Doyle, even made me a little teary eyed. The film has some low budget problems( the sound mix was iffy),but I liked it anyway. It's not for everyone,but if want something that defies convention and categories, check this one out.
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Hilarious real-estate musical
katiesmith720-130 December 2005
While web surfing, i came across a clip of the song 'Fantabulous' from Open House. I thought it was funny, so i rented the movie. The whole movie is hilarious and unique. From the songs to the acting (cast includes Anthony Rapp from RENT), Open House doesn't have one weak moment, and is extremely entertaining.

Open House takes place on a quite Sunday afternoon.You meet a real estate gent who is very eager to sell a house, a young couple who spend there Sundays having sex in open house, a jewel thief hiding from the cops and disguising himself as an doctor, another young couple who steal from open houses(aka the sexy swipers), a pair of cops trying to find the house thieves, a real-estate "whos life is as empty as her bottle of vodka", and the house owners themselves. All of these people have one thing in common, the dream of finding the perfect 2 story Spanish colonial.

You'll never predict the ending, and will probably find yourself singing Fantabulous in the shower.All the songs were performed live during shooting, which makes Open House exciting and fresh. If your a fan of musicals or comedies, you wont regret watching this movie!!!!
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More than a one time see
Tully Satre1 January 2006
OPEN HOUSE, starring Anthony Rapp, gives new meaning to musical movies. What can't be done live, can be done in a movie - editing and emphasis on simple steps to bring out character within scenes and people. The build-up humor related to that of a domino effect adding a sense of originality, entertainment, and sheer madness to this brilliant film by Dan Mirvish. The characters of OPEN HOUSE will have you in a mixture of emotions, which takes some rare talent found in this excellent cast and director. No part could have been cast better, no scene could have been shot better - no less, and no more could have been done for this film which truly does justice to the comedy of real estate, and musicals. OPEN HOUSE is more than a one time see.
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Fresh, hilarious, and different, Open House is a must see!
singin_gurlclh12 January 2006
I rented Open House because of Anthony Rapp, and after the very first song I knew that this was not what I had anticipated at all. I thought I'd be seeing a strange musical about of all things.. Real Estate! However, it proved to be new, fresh, different, funny, and entertaining to watch than I had ever thought. Who knew a musical on Real Estate could be so much fun? I absolutely love Open House, I think it's hilarious and all the energy and enthusiasm the actors, director, and other makers of the film have put into it help to make it so captivating. I love the song "My House" which comes towards the end of the film, I think it was my favorite because it was funny, but really sad and so sincere and raw with emotion, loved Anthony's voice in it. The DVD has some great features including, the alternate scene, middle "Japanese Version" which had me laughing so hard I was crying.

The entire cast did a really great job, and I admire the way the film was put together.

I'm definitely going to buy the DVD as soon as I can, and if you haven't seen it yet, you're really missing out.
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crazynutsokatie20 February 2006
This movie is excellent. I suggest anyone watch it and laugh at the fact that most of the actors and actresses cannot sing worth a damn. Its wonderfully silly!! You must watch it!!I love the way Anthony Rapp played Berry. He was so cute. And the couples are funny. Watch out for a few shockers, trust me, nothing is what it seems in this movie. Watch it once sober and once drunk, and then you will understand it. I know, sounds weird, right, but trust me on this. FINGERSANDWITCHES!!! You must must must see this movie. Dan is amazing for making such a sugary sweet nonsensical musical. You should congratulate him on his genius. Dan is the coolest guy ever...and I mean ever.
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Funny and Unique
BarryWithALisp5 January 2006
I first had an interest in this movie after doing a search for my favorite actor, Anthony Rapp. I originally rented the movie and after renting and watching it several times , I fell in love with Open House. So much so that I immediately purchased my own copy, as my friends and I watch Open House with veneration. This is the general consensus of everyone I know who loves this movie. My friends and online buddies and I quote the lines all the time. The entire concept of a real estate musical is pure genius. The movie starts on a "high note" and doesn't disappoint. Open House is refreshing because of the absence of "cool special effects". The movie has a loose plot at best, dorky but lovable characters, and is entertaining in that it does not seek to 'wow' its viewers. So, not only was the film fun for the whole family and all of my friends, but it was also original and innovative, an instant classic in my movie collection.
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This is a review of Open House and what I thought about it.
Sarah S.30 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie Christmas day, and it was one of my favorite presents. It was hilarious from the talented singers to the unique songs. I already knew Anthony Rapp from Rent and a few other movies, and I'm a huge fan. While watching, I recognized James Duval from Donnie Darko and Jenna Leigh Green from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I never knew that Frank the Bunny or Libby could sing so well. "Sexy Swipers" was another good song, especially the dance (with Marjorie and Doctor Dave in the back). The twist at the end took me by surprise when Barry when psycho. I found it funny though, even though it was sort of a sad time for Barry. The dance finale was great too. I loved how Joel was able to dance around and sing despite the fact he was shot in the arm. :P The deleted scenes were GREAT too! Overall, a fantabulous movie that I recommend for anyone with a sense of humor.
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Fun Indie Musical
bryd806910 January 2006
The movie Open House was a fun independently made movie musical about the world of real estate, no really, it's about real estate. If you like independent film, quirky musicals, and/or good comedy then this is for you. Be warned that the movie is VERY low-budget and not everybody sings completely on tune (but they were trying). One of the songs, "Selling a Dream," was even pushed for an Oscar nomination for best song. It was one of the standout numbers. Personally, my favortites were "It's My House," and "Fantabulous." These were both sung by Anthony Rapp who played a role that will leave most fans in shock at his character Barry. The movie is strengthened by a good script, and wonderful cast. The movie stars Sally Kellerman, Jerry Doyle, Rapp and Kellie Martin among others. Everyone has at least one song to plead their side of the story and moves the plot forward. It's just fantabulous!
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Open House...a film that cannot be missed
materialgirl14830 December 2005
I must admit, the prospect of a "real-estate musical" struck me as something that wouldn't work very well. Let me tell you, I was WRONG. "Open House" is a very good film with some seriously catchy songs (especially the oft-repeated "Do You Love This House") by performers gifted both in acting and in singing. The highlights of this film come with the realtor Barry Farnsworth (the ever-wonderful Anthony Rapp of RENT fame) and the drunken Marjorie (Sally Kellerman). Every part of this film is extremely enjoyable. Dan Mirvish is a fine director and I can't wait till I see some more of his work. I could also see this as having stage potential. If you take nothing but one thing from my review, let it be this. "Open House" is simply FANTABULOUS.

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One of my new favorite films
freakrightout30 December 2005
I first heard about Open House while looking up movies that feature Anthony Rapp. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this indie musical, but it turned out that I found a wonderful gem of a movie that I can actually watch more than once without getting tired of it. The film was directed by the great Dan Mirvish and stars Anthony Rapp and Sally Kellerman as two quirky real estate agents; James Duval, Kellie Martin, Brandon Williams, and Jenna Leigh Green as two quirky couples who call themselves "Sexy Swipers"; Hedy Buress and Robert Peters as two quirky, adulterous cops; and Jerry Doyle and Ian Whitcomb as two quirky "doctors" who both visit the Open House for similar reasons.

Open House is really just such a fun movie. There are tons of subtle actions and jokes that the actors slip in (a raise of an eyebrow from Jerry Doyle, a change in tone from Anthony Rapp) that will keep you laughing the whole way through. The music is very impressive, as well. After watching this movie, you'll find find yourself humming the songs to yourself throughout the day. Anthony Rapp's performance of "My House" and Sally Kellerman and Jerry Doyle's duet of "Sellin' a Dream" will leave you breathless while Kellie Martin and James Duval's performances of "Do You Love This House" will have you laughing.

I recommend this film to anyone looking for a good film and a good time. The writing is excellent, the dialogue is hysterical, and songs are simply amazing, and the film itself is, in a word, fantabulous.
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Open House
mendozapride2130 December 2005
This movie is interesting,and it has inspired me to attempt to make something of my own.The Creator of this movie has made a home made film that has been see all over the us.It is an interesting movie that i feel is a ten. All of the actors in this film were decanted to this film.The music is wonderful as well. You can even sing along with it .very interesting good job! I watched it a bunch of times it. Although it is a low budget film it is a excellent film .orgianl that is what we need. instead of the same things. It helps up understand selling houses and gets people interested in open houses. its clever.Well done film .Congrats on making an interesting film.
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I liked the film
kelly30 December 2005
I got this movie for Christmas and I must say that I really enjoyed this film. It is hands down the most wacky, fresh movie I have seen in a long time. The songs are so different and edgy. Sally Kellerman and Anthony Rapp are wonderful as there characters and both sing beautifully. I must admit that some of the cast aren't the greatest of singers but in the end it really doesn't matter much, because the story is so good. You think you know what is really going on and who every character really is. But there are many different surprises at the end of the movie. Yes the film has it's flaws but what movie doesn't? I enjoyed this movie greatly and would recommend it to anyone.
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This film was FANTABULOUS!!!!
choirgirl830 December 2005
I must say that this film for me was a very creativity inducing experience! The film had a truly intriguing premise and hilarious characters (my favorite being Barry Farnsworth cause he is just too cute) I love the music and must admit that I still have the song Fantabulous, stuck in my head. I am not good at reviews but I am just going to say that you must see this film. You must see it just so you can experience the creativity of Director Dan Mirvisch and his crew. Who were able to pull of this movie in 15 days of filming and a tight budget. All Independent films are brilliant but this film is sheer brilliance at its best!
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Excellent musical
cduke19726 October 2005
Having seen an advance screening at the Egyptian theater in Hollywood, I was elated to see the return of director Dan Mirvish humor and style. Back in 1994, I was quite impressed with Dan's first film "Omaha the Movie". Fast forward to 2004 and "Open House" and I see Dan's wit as well as his fun, frenetic directorial style still in full force. From the dance numbers to the open house sexcapades, the entire movie is a hoot. I was told that the cast actually sang live on set and very little was done in the editing room. This film illustrates the way movies should be made, to show an actors true range and talent. I just hope I don't have to wait another 10 years for Dan's next major film.
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Really bizarre, but lots of fun too!
cedthesloth12 January 2006
Open house is truly one of the most bizarre films I've ever seen! The storyline is SO unusual. It's got everything from "sexy swipers" to old has-been real estate agents to a dysfunctional guy longing for his lost past. The combination of the characters makes for an interesting new movie that was TOTALLY not what I expected. But that being said, I did like it. I thought Anthony Rapp was Fantastic! He was so cute in the movie, and I was especially impressed with his performance in the final scenes of the movie. Jenna Leigh Green, although she has a very minor part" was also hilarious and her voice is simply beautiful. The story and the music are different from anything you've ever heard or seen. It's something you'll want to watch, but make sure you're going into it with an open mind, because I guarantee that it won't be at all what you were expecting!
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The most charming musical of 2005!
MischaRENT30 December 2005
This film has all the qualities of a great musical, likable characters, witty dialogue and catchy songs. Pure exhilaration. Mr. Mirvish knows how to bend the rules of filming, as no rule is ever set in gold. He has started a new, much needed, fresh trend in filming. And the fruit of his labor shows in the final product, Open House. As a fan of musicals and Anthony Rapp I highly recommend this film. Barry, as played by Anthony Rapp, will have you singing, laughing and crying , all in the span of 96 minutes. Open House is the new proverbial "Rocky Horror Picture Show" of my age group. As it will inspire you to sing along with the actors, and watching it once is not enough. To sum things up , Open House is indeed FANTABULOUS!
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If you are "open" to the more unusual film offerings, you should find Open House a treat
Amy Adler18 May 2011
Barry (Anthony Rapp) is hosting an open house in the California area. When folks come to view the place, he breaks into song about how great it is. However, unknown to the young real estate agent, some folks that come to a look-over have another agenda. A young couple, for example, call themselves "sexy swipers", that is, they like to have quickies and steal loot on a walk through. Whoa! They have seen many a house without a purchase. But, wait, they may have competition from another duo of young things. There is also a hint that robbery is in the air, prompting man-and-wife police officers to hit the open house circuit. While they look for thieves they also wish to buy a nice house for themselves and start a family. Other individuals who come to Barry's place are a couple of doctors with their own plans as well. Then, too, at a neighboring house, another agent (Sally Kellerman), alerted to the sneaky pilfering, makes an effort to catch the swipers. Are they any more revelations to be had at this unusual open house? This film is definitely in the realm of the "different", being a musical about real estate with singers of varying talent. How's that for offbeat? Its also remarkable in its take on that Sunday fixture, the open house, where a lot of extracurricular activity may be present at any showing. That was an eye-opener for this naive viewer! No, there are few stars besides Kellerman but that cast is truly adept at making each character memorable. The sets, costumes, script, songs, and direction are worthy, also. I got this movie in a Big Lots pack of 3-for 3 bucks, along with a favorite flick, Mr. Jealousy, and a disc with 10 wonderful old television show episodes. Wow, did I get the bargain of the week, as OH is the kind of movie that shakes up a humdrum day.
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i want my wasted time back.
sydshocafe13 January 2005
the single worst film i've ever seen in a theater. i saw this film at the austin film festival in 2004, and it blew my mind that this film was accepted to a festival. it was an interesting premise, and seemed like it could go somewhere, but just fell apart every time it tried to do anything. first of all, if you're going to do a musical, find someone with musical talent. the music consisted of cheesy piano playing that sounded like they were playing it on a stereo in the room they were filming. the lyrics were terribly written, and when they weren't obvious rhymes, they were groan-inducing rhymes that showed how far they were stretching to try to make this movie work. and you'd think you'd find people who could sing when making a musical, right? not in this case. luckily they were half talking/half singing in rhyme most of the time, but when they did sing it made me cringe. especially when they attempted to sing in harmony. and that just addresses the music. some of the acting was pretty good, but a lot of the dialog was terrible, as well as most of the scenes. they obviously didn't have enough coverage on the scenes, or they just had a bad editor, because they consistently jumped the line and used terrible choices while cutting the film. at least the director was willing to admit that no one wanted the script until they added the hook of making it a musical. i hope the investors make sure someone can write music before making the same mistake again.
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If you're reading this, consider yourself already one of the enlightened few
rooprect1 November 2013
Who knows how you came to hear about this movie. Maybe you know someone who worked on it. Maybe you're a follower of LA's underground film scene. Or, like me, maybe it caught your eye at a video store going out of business sale. Aside from those possibilities there aren't a lot of ways to know about this great gem of a flick. But whatever brought you here, you'll be grateful for it after you see this film.

Not since discovering Christopher Guest ("Waiting for Guffman", "Best in Show", "A Mighty Wind") have I been so blown away by a new approach to comedy. The approach? Completely unpretentious, not afraid to make fun of itself, not creatively hindered by any constraints. The result is a comedy with the honesty and authenticity of a home movie but surprisingly impressive on a technical & artistic level. As long as you're not one of those moviegoers who insists on big budget Hollywood gloss and sweeping orchestral scores in every scene--as long as you're not a Kenneth Branaugh minion--you'll get a kick out of this flick.

"Here's the budget for this film," says writer/director Dan Mirvish in the behind-the-scenes feature, pulling out a crumpled wad of fives & tens from his pocket. The film's "production office" was literally the garage of his house packed with a crew of volunteers working for free. Actors were paid on average $75 per day, and the entire thing was finished in 17 days. Dan operated the camera (a Panasonic DV-100 which nowadays will run you about $65 on ebay). And the "soundtrack" was recorded live with the actors singing their lines to a guy playing an electronic keyboard off to the corner while filming. But you'll be absolutely amazed at how well it all came together, due to excellent camera-work, great acting and perhaps most of all a GENIUS script.

Yes, this was a no-budget production, but that seems to have squeezed out superhuman efforts from the entire cast & crew. If you're the sort of person who enjoys browsing Youtube for hilarious skits, you'll get a lotta laughs from "Open House". At times it seems to be making fun of itself with actors deliberately off-key or with ridiculous "choreography" (I love seeing police brutality to the tune of a bouncy C), but there are also some suddenly sobering moments like Sally Kellerman's beautiful singing of "Selling a Dream" or Anthony Rapp's stunningly dramatic monologue near the end. The story is surprisingly clever, unexpected and even action-packed. I daresay it's the most interesting real estate comedy I've ever seen. And of course there's the anthemic toe tapper "Fantabulous" which you can find with a google video search. If you like that scene, you can expect a bunch more like it. And then some.

For me, the highlights were Sally Kellerman (famous as "Hot Lips" on MASH & also Rodney Dangerfield's love interest in "Back to School") playing a hilariously cynical but spunky real estate agent, and the other knockout performance was Anthony Rapp ("Rent", "A Beautiful Mind" and does anyone remember the kid Daryl in "Adventures in Babysitting"?). Anthony plays the nerdy, spazzy, hyper-enthusiastic realtor with a very interesting secret to reveal by the end.

If you're a fan of the aforementioned Christopher Guest flicks, do not hesitate to check this out. I'm also reminded of the obscure comedy gems "Razzle Dazzle: A Journey into Dance" (about a misfit girls' dance troupe competing in Australia) and "Believe!" an oddball comedy about multi-level-marketing salesmen. Watch them all be reminded that creative, low-budget films may ultimately be the saviors of cinema!
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1/10 most of these comments sound fishy to anybody else?
rasselas29 January 2006
So you might be reading some of the comments posted on this film, and you might be thinking to yourself, "Huh. There were sure a bunch of RAVE REVIEWS posted on December 30." Funny thing is, most of these rave reviews sound like they're coming from the same person, or at best a small, coordinated group of "Open House" groupies. The truth, my friends, is that this film is truly unwatchable. Just because it's "independent" doesn't mean it gets a free pass. If you're going to make a musical, whether on film or on stage, whether on Broadway or at the local community playhouse, you should probably make sure that (a.) your actors can sing, (b.) your actors can dance, (c.) you have decent sound equipment, (d.) you have a well-written score, and (e.) you have lyrics that are witty and charming. Even Anthony Rapp can't save this one. It's one of those unfortunate movie-going experiences where I actually felt deeply embarrassed for everyone involved.
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No sale on this one
bears_fonte22 October 2004
The premise is amazing and the some of the acting, notably Sally Kellerman and Anthony Rapp, is charming... but this film is near unwatchable. The music sounds as if it comes from some sort of the royalty free online site and the lyrics as if they were written with a rhyming dictionary open on the lap. Most of the singing is off-key. I think they may have filmed with the singing accapella and put in the music under it... The dialogue is really stupid and trite. The movie works best when it is actually talking about the real estate but unfortunately it strays to often into stupid farcical sub-plots. I found myself checking my watch after ther first twenty minutes and after 40 wondering 'when is it ever going to end.'
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So terrible it was ALMOST good.
meowsong4k21 January 2007
This movie was so terrible it was almost good... almost. We love musicals, but not this one. Even with the terrible sound quality, poor cinematography, and many actors who can't sing or dance, Anthony Rapp actually managed to give a good performance (especially toward the end). The character Marjorie, a drunk lady, was enjoyable to watch, too.

The plot is very unexpected and could have been funny without terrible singing and cheezy piano music. Admittadly, some of the songs (fantabulous) are pretty catchy (but not in a good way).

Open House is a funny movie to watch simply because it is awful! We think it might be a good stage musical (with excellent actors).
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What a stinker! Peeeee---eeeeew!
mdrewsells9 June 2006
I feel totally ripped off. Someone needs to refund the $4.95 I spent at Blockbuster to rent this homemade mess. This is NOT a musical it is a complete waste of time and my evening. What I don't get is why did this get distributed in the first place???...somebody MUST have been doing some heavy drugs the night that deal was made. I've seen better films come out of film schools and I have been to film school so I can say that as a fact. The quality of this work is also just SO VERY bad to view...shot on DV??? Nuff said. The songs are not songs but just banter that sounds the same in every section. Want to see a good musical? THEN DON'T RENT THIS MOVIE.
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