Friday, October 21, 2011

"The Money Pit" 1986


“The Money Pit”

I have a broken stair. It creaks and is frankly a little scary. I have nightmares about the day it finally snaps and someone in the house breaks something. When I step on it, I think of the movie “The Money Pit”. I also have a wobbly top to a newel post that reminds me of “It’s A Wonderful Life”, but I will write about that at Christmas time.

We have a basket on the bad stair and remind any guest that uses the stairs to stay to the right going up. We’ll get it fixed someday.
The movie is loose remake of “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House”. The original is different, in that it is a family moving into a house that needs a little work and turns into a complete rebuild of the house. In “The Money Pit” it is a couple that decide to buy a house together, even though they haven’t committed officially.
Tom Hanks is Walter. He was part of a talent agency with his father who has run off with a lot of people’s money. It is early Tom Hanks when he was goofy and slapstick. He has a whole roster of interesting clients that keep him on his toes.

'Cheap Girl' # 1: We want to change the name of the band.
Walter: You can't do that! You've spent years making your name a household word. Your name is perfect! Cheap Girls. I love it.
'Cheap Girl' # 1: I'm not sure it's us. We want to call ourselves Meryl Streep.
Walter: No, no you cannot call yourselves Meryl Streep.
'Cheap Girl' # 1: Maybe she'll be flattered!
Walter: No, in fact considering your act, I think I can guarantee a giant lawsuit.
[Walter tells Anna they're leaving]
Walter: Forget it, you are not calling yourselves Meryl Streep.
'Cheap Girl' # 1: How 'bout Debbie Reynolds?

Shelley Long is his girlfriend Anna. She is a violinist who has been living with Walter in her ex-husband’s apartment while he’s on tour. He returns early and that prompts the couple sudden real estate needs. Shelley is her typical self in this movie. She doesn’t have a whole lot of range.
They find a house that is up for sale and fall in love. There are little things that need work, but the push forward and move in. One morning, after hearing the squeaky step, Walter decides to fix it himself. This sets off a chain of events. It turns out to be difficult to find good help.

Water Fielding: Do you know how hard it is to find a really good carpenter? Besides, I think he's got a brother who's a plumber!
Anna Crowley: Really? A brother who's a plumber?
Water Fielding: I think so.
Anna Crowley: Do you think I should sleep with him?
Water Fielding: Maybe just this once.
The contractors assure them that the work will take two weeks. Maybe three. But after months in a house that is torn apart there is trouble in paradise. I have read somewhere that it takes a strong relationship to withstand a house remodel or new house build. Soon Walter and Anna are crumbling under the pressure.
Walter: It's a big house, we'll divide it up! You stay in your half, I'll stay in mine!
Anna: That is such a dumb idea. Sometimes it amazes me you ever passed the bar.
Walter: I'm sure it does, you've never passed a bar in you life.
Anna: You are so much less attractive when I'm sober.
Walter: Thank goodness it's not that often.
Anna: [yelling] All right, that's it! I've had it with you, and the house, and Max, and the orchestra and everything! How long will it take to put this house together?
Curly: Two weeks.
[Walter and all the workers start laughing]
Anna: We'll stick it out 'til the house is done.

It ends happily and there is a wedding in the front yard of the finished house.
Like I said, someday I will get the bad step fixed. But then we’d need to replace the carpeting in the living room. But first we’d have to paint the walls because they’d look a little dingy. And then the furniture would look old and the kitchen cabinets could use an update. It is a slippery slope. So I’ll probably just leave it alone for a little longer.

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