House Broken

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
House Broken Movie Poster Image
Lowbrow comedy with lots of sex, language, and alcohol.
  • R
  • 2009
  • 84 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Growing up means taking responsibility seriously, contributing to the household, and making adjustments that allow for your loved ones to grow and change. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most characters are stereotypes for most of the movie, although some grow and change and some reveal hidden sides or motives that go against the stereotype. Mom is an overprotective doormat. Quinn and Elliot are 20-something slackers enjoying a carefree life mostly goofing off; eventually they grow up.

Violence

Several slapstick fights played for comedy with slapping, punching, kicking, and wrestling-type moves. A character is threatened while being choked. Off-camera noises imply a large pet snake is being beaten. A man is shot in the bare buttocks at close range with a T-shirt gun. Quinn, Elliot, and their friends make videos of dangerous stunts for comedic effect. A few other punches and kicks mostly off camera with no injuries or consequences.

Sex

Two women show their bare breasts. A man's simulated erection is shown through underwear. A man simulates sex with a massage-therapy doll. Men's bare buttocks shown several times. A realistic-looking penis sexual aid is shown several times. Thrusting pelvises mimic sex several times. Sounds of sex heard through a wall. Lots and lots of innuendo. A boss sexually harasses a woman verbally, multiple times. A few kisses and groping under clothing. A 20-something man is in a sexual relationship with a girl in high school.

Language

"A--hole," "f--k," "s--t," "hell," "balls," "goddamn," "fag," and lots of made-up words like "f--kstick" and "vagina head."

Consumerism

Household, food, and drink products shown incidentally, although bottles of Budweiser are prominent.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults of legal age frequently drink beer. Teens briefly seen hanging out in public drinking beer. One scene shows a bong in the foreground that gets broken. A group of friends share a hookah. In a special feature video an actor jokes about coming to rehearsal after taking heroin and mushrooms. A prominent soundtrack song glorifies beer and mentions whiskey and cocaine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that House Broken is a lowbrow comedy with some slapstick violence played for comedy; lots of strong language involving body parts and including "f--k," "s--t," and "fag;" lots and lots of sexual innuendo, bare female breasts and male buttocks, a simulated erection, and simulated sex with a mannequin; and one scene showing a hookah being used and another with a bong in the foreground. So you can see the teen appeal here. Ultimately messages are positive but weakly conveyed about growing up, assuming responsibility, and allowing your loved ones to grow and change, too. But there are also lots of stereotypes, normalized drinking, and for much of it, a glorified slacker lifestyle.

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What's the story?

HOUSE BROKEN is about two brothers, Quinn (Skyler Stone) and Elliot (Ryan Hansen). At 20-something years old, the brothers live at home and enjoy being waited on hand and foot by their mother Mary (Katey Sagal) while they make stunt videos with their slacker friends. Jobs? No, thank you. When their firefighter dad Tom (Danny DeVito) finally retires, Tom realizes that he just can't stand having his grown kids hanging around the house all day. He wants to enjoy his golden years in peace and quiet. But Mary can't quite cut the apron strings, so Tom hatches a drastic plan to force his sons to grow up once and for all. But can the brothers who've always been so close grow up without growing apart?

Is it any good?

This movie is loaded with teen appeal from the lowbrow comedy to the almost nonstop jokes and gags about sex, but it's also predictable and full of stereotypes and jokes that just don't land. The cast of teens and young adults aren't without their charms, but the veteran cast of older adults (yes, Decker is the guy who played Biff in Back to the Future) should have been better, and maybe they could've been with a stronger script and more seasoned director. Frontal nudity, simulated sex, lots of strong language, and glorified depictions of beer and lack of ambition make House Broken best for oldest teens and up, but those looking for real laughs should keep looking.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about all the sex in House Broken. Is it too much? Are there positive, healthy depictions of sexuality? What about when it's played for laughs, does that make a difference?

  • What about all the strong language? Is it realistic? Is it making a point, or is it gratuitous?

  • When is it OK for kids and teens to watch movies or videos that have alcohol and drugs in them?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love to laugh

Themes & Topics

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