A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Guest House is a 2020 stoner comedy in which Pauly Shore plays an aging party dude who goes to war against the young couple who have just purchased the property. Constant gratuitous drug and alcohol use, as well as sex jokes and acts. Lead character spikes water bottles and glasses of wine with Molly, causing characters to engage in questionable sexual behavior. Gratuitous nudity at a party -- topless women. In the aftermath of a wild party, back yard has multiple penis images made out of different objects. While under the influence of a powerful drug, man shown trying to have sex with his motorcycle. Cocaine use throughout. Marijuana use throughout. Binge drinking. A drugged opossum attacks attendees of a wedding rehearsal dinner, drawing blood and sending some to the hospital. Pretty much every curse word in the book is used at some point, including "f--k" and "motherf---er." While literally no one expects a cinematic masterpiece from Sir Pauly Shore, this is incredibly crass, stupid, and unfunny by any standards.
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What's the story?
In GUEST HOUSE, Blake (Mike Castle) and Sarah (Aimee Teegarden) are a young couple looking to buy their dream home. They think they've found it, but it comes with one catch: In the back is a guest house, and it's occupied by an aging party dude named Randy Cockfield (Pauly Shore). Randy enjoys throwing raucous parties, snorting cocaine, and smoking marijuana (among other drugs), but Blake and Sarah figure he can move out in the next month or two and they'll have the entire property to themselves. Randy, however, has other plans. He has no intention of leaving, and as he begins to bring out the party animal in Blake, Sarah just wants Randy to leave. As Blake and Sarah get engaged and begin planning their wedding, they're finding their domestic bliss is constantly being shattered by Randy's parties and obnoxious behavior. Tired of Randy's inconsiderate behavior and the havoc it is wreaking on their lives, Blake declares war. As the two come up with increasingly insane ways to make each other's lives miserable, Blake and Sarah must figure out if they're as in love with each other as they think, and find a way to make peace with Randy, who must come to grips with why, besides the drug binges, he's acting this way.
Is it any good?
While literally no one expects a Pauly Shore movie like this to win any Oscars, one would hope that it would at least be funny, if only once. Somehow, Guest House fails to achieve even that low bar. It's not for lack of trying; the sheer crassness and boorish raunchiness make the post-Vacation National Lampoon movies seem as subtle and nuanced as Ingmar Bergman films by comparison. Joke after joke after joke falls flat. None of the characters are likable, even as they try to shoehorn in an ending that's somehow supposed to forgive the mass spiking of adult beverages with Molly at a wedding, among other obnoxious transgressions. Making a comedy with no funny moments would almost be an impressive feat, if the experience wasn't so excruciating.
This movie will probably be enjoyable for those who believe that the American Pie franchise wasn't quite gratuitous enough. For everyone else, this is just a dumb movie, and not dumb in a good or entertaining way. It can't even be enjoyed ironically. Ten minutes into the movie, the over-the-top drug and sex humor grows tiresome. Thirty minutes in, it becomes tedious. By the 45-minute mark, an existential crisis takes hold, wherein one questions the need for an "entertainment industry" when products like this makes the real-life drudgery of filing taxes or cleaning bathrooms an ecstatic joy by comparison.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about "stoner comedies." How does Guest House compare to other movies centered on characters who use drugs? Do these movies encourage drug use, or do they parody how people act when under the influence of drugs?
What makes a movie bad? Can a movie be "so bad, it's good?" Does this fall into that category? Why or why not?
Did the sex, violence, and drug and alcohol abuse heighten the comedy or the story, or did it seem forced and gratuitous? Why?
- On DVD or streaming: November 10, 2020
- Cast: Pauly Shore, Aimee Teegarden, Mike Castle
- Director: Sam Macaroni
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 84 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: Strong Crude Sexual Content, Drug Use, Language Throughout, Graphic Nudity
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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