A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the heart of The House of Yes is an incestuous relationship between twins. They're seen once engaging in sex, and the scene eroticizes both the incest itself and the violence of the Kennedy assassination (reenacting it leads to sex). Their mother turns a blind eye to their flirtatious and suggestive behavior. Parental abandonment, murder, and mental illness are tied together with the incest and overall extreme dysfunction, and the movie ends bleakly with an off-camera suggestion of further tragedy. There is profanity, including "f--k," and young adults drink alcohol.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When Marty (Josh Hamilton) unexpectedly brings a fiancée (Tori Spelling) home for Thanksgiving, his twin sister (Parker Posey), nicknamed Jackie-O for her obsession with the former First Lady, is unable to disguise her jealousy. As Marty and Jackie-O are drawn back into their incestuous relationship, past secrets come to light. Can Jackie-O's fragile mental and emotional state withstand the truth about their past?
Is it any good?
The greatest strength of THE HOUSE OF YES is the acting, with entertaining turns from all the principal cast members (yes, even Tori Spelling). Unfortunately, the screenplay adaptation from a play makes it hard to fully engage with the characters. A lot of dialogue has a play-like feel, as though it was lifted verbatim, and in a film this comes across as stilted and unrealistic despite the actors' talent. Couple that with a distasteful central theme that's not really explored in depth and seems to be there mostly to titillate, and this film doesn't add up to being worth your time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why movies explore "forbidden" topics such as incest. Are movies an appropriate way to look at such issues? Why, or why not?
Do you think Jackie-O is genuinely mentally ill, or is Lesly right in thinking she's just spoiled? How does the movie show you Jackie's feelings and state of mind?
The House of Yes is based on a play. Why do you think the filmmaker chose to turn this story into a movie?
- In theaters: February 5, 1997
- On DVD or streaming: January 18, 2000
- Cast: Parker Posey, Tori Spelling, Freddie Prinze Jr.
- Director: Mark Waters
- Studio: Miramax
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Run time: 85 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: Language, perverse sex-related situations, an image of violence
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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