BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Shropshire

Black Country
Hereford & Worcester

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Our House
15Our House (2004)

updated 24 April 2004
reviewer's rating
1 out of 5
Reviewed by Stella Papamichael
average user rating
2 Star

Danny DeVito
Larry Doyle
Ben Stiller
Drew Barrymore
Eileen Essel
Harvey Fierstein
Justin Theroux
Robert Wisdom
88 minutes
Buena Vista
30 April 2004

Rate This Film
What did you think of this film?
Select your star rating from the options below

Star Rating: 1  1
Star Rating: 2  2
Star Rating: 3  3
Star Rating: 4  4
Star Rating: 5  5
Average star rating: 2 from 226 votes

Director Danny DeVito aspires to the impish humour of Ealing classic The Ladykillers (1955) with the story of a young couple who make reluctant plans to bump off the old lady who lives upstairs. Alas, Our House is built on gravely shallow foundations, and despite the comic talents of Ben Stiller it's so unfunny you could find yourself becoming all too aware of your own mortality.

After a pointless animation skit, the action opens on the happy couple falling in love with a grand old duplex (a maisonette) in Brooklyn, New York. Ben Stiller is Alex, a novelist facing a deadline for that all-important second book, and Drew Barrymore is his soggy (wishes she was sassy) girlfriend, Nancy.


Old bird Mrs Connelly (Eileen Essell) is the one glitch in their vision of domestic bliss. She has permanent tenancy on the first floor and, despite her outward frailty, turns out to be - you guessed it - 'the neighbour from hell'. Through a series of ill-conceived and frankly exasperating setups, Alex and Nancy are driven to homicidal distraction, not unlike the experience of watching this film.

A scene where Alex performs mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the crusty Mrs Connelly is the only moment that approaches funny in a string of gags that are woefully off-base. Sitting uncomfortably between black humour and cutesy comedy, the script is riddled with falsities that even dare to defy science. Marvel as Alex uses a clap-sensitive remote control to turn down the volume on Mrs Connelly's TV - through ten inches of plaster and hardwood flooring.

Stiller's gawky charm and comic timing are done disservice by DeVito, who cuts the film at the pace of a Merchant Ivory melodrama. Meanwhile Barrymore wanders through scenes as if she has trouble remembering what day it is. And as the poisonous biddy, Eileen Essell hams it up so shamelessly it'd make Kenneth Branagh blush. Pull the shutters down and walk away - Our House is rotten to the rafters.

Find out more about "Our House" at
Movie Review Query Engine
The Internet Movie Database

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

Top| Films Index | Home

BBC Shropshire Bollywood news, reviews and galleries
Red bullet point Bollywood film galleries
BBC Shropshire film search
Red bullet point What to see in Shropshire
BBC Shropshire guide to top ten films to watch this month
Red bullet point What to watch this month
BBC Shropshire film vault
Red bullet point Packed full of film reviews

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy