Directed by Adam Shankman, starring Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy and Joan Plowright.
Divorced tax lawyer Peter Sanderson (Martin) thinks he's found the right woman, on the Internet - and it's all above board. She's smart, she's flirty, logs on as 'Lawyer Girl' and is coming to his home for dinner tonight. Except 'Lawyer Girl' isn't the criminal brief she said was - her name's Charlene (Latifah) and she's spent time on the other side of the dock. Just out of the LA County Jail, she wants Peter to help her overturn her conviction for armed robbery and won't leave his house until he agrees. But Peter isn't worried about any miscarriage of justice, just what his neighbours will think.
Mention Steve Martin to film fans and you'll be greeted with a sighed list containing 'The Jerk', 'The Man With Two Brains' and 'Bowfinger' and then out-loud wondering about where all the laughs went. 'House' is no classic, but it has its moments - some of which you'll still remember by the time you get home.
Taking the energy from 70's sitcoms and trying to cut and paste it into a full film, the saving grace here is that the actors are funnier than the lines they're given. Martin's brand of put-upon and repressed fuelled a generation of comics after him. Latifah could ad lib the whole thing and still get away it. Levy steals the show as Martin's jive talkin' co-worker and Plowright pops up in some class scenes as the rich old lady who Martin has to impress but whose attitude winds up his new housemate.
It's stereotypes to the hilt and one of those films conservative America probably reckons is both 'funny' and 'adventurous', although not adventurous enough to make Martin and Latifah characters get it together and think nothing of it.
But the image of Martin breakdancing could be worth the waste of an afternoon alone and as a duo, he and Latifah really deserved each other. And a better script.