The House of Yes

Critics Consensus

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62%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 39

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,632
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Movie Info

This offbeat comedy is an adaptation of Wendy MacLeod's play about the affluent, dysfunctional Pascal family as they prepare for a Thanksgiving dinner. The mentally disturbed daughter (Parker Posey), who identifies with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, has been involved in an incestuous relationship with her twin brother Marty (Josh Hamilton) for years. But now Marty is bringing his fiancee Lesley (Tori Spelling) home for the holidays to meet his family, including his sister, his twisted mother (Genevieve Bujold), and his younger brother (Freddie Prinze Jr.). After the electricity goes out, tensions escalate. Parker Posey won the 1997 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award.

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Critic Reviews for The House of Yes

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (15)

  • "The House of Yes'' is a comedy. And a pretty funny one, too.

    Jun 12, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Unless you think drawing-room re-enactments of JFK's assassination beat Pictionary as a party game, it's best to say no to the achingly arch comic satire The House of Yes.

    Jan 9, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

    Mike Clark

    USA Today
    Top Critic
  • Bujold has the frazzled hauteur of an aging, neglected star, and Spelling is nicely glazed, studiously artless. But the film is keyed to Posey's performance: perfectly brittle, faultlessly false.

    Nov 21, 2008 | Full Review…
  • [Waters] manages to open up the text while maintaining its perilous mix of arch wit, pathos and suspense.

    Nov 21, 2008

    Dennis Harvey

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • There's something quite lethal about Parker Posey in pearls, and for that inspiration director Mark Waters deserves our gratitude.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • This is a definitive Posey performance: wide-eyed, smiling and ultrafeminine, but plastic and cold as a store mannequin.

    Jul 12, 2002 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for The House of Yes

  • Jan 03, 2016
    This movie was a bit hit and miss for me. On the one hand, you have one of Parker Posey's best performances and on the other you have Freddie Prinze Jr and Tori Spelling. Freddie Prinze, quite honestly, is fairly terrible in this movie and don't get me started on Tori Spelling. It's not that Spelling herself is terrible, she's not bad, but the fact that this movie was produced by a company owned by Aaron Spelling, then that pretty much reveals why Tori was cast. Again, she's not as terrible as Freddie Prinze, but she was clearly cast in this movie because of nepotism and not because of the fact that she was the best person qualified for the role. She's just not,, she has no romantic chemistry with Josh Hamilton in this movie whatsoever. This is a bit of problem when the film is centered around Tori's character's fight to get back her 'man' from his sister, with whom he has an incestuous relationship with. Honestly, Parker Posey and Josh Hamilton had better romantic chemistry and the film, while not necessarily judging the characters for it, isn't trying to make incest into something that's acceptable, so that was odd to see. The film, honestly, had the potential to be a deliciously juicy black comedy and you do get bits and pieces of that. It's a well-written movie, honestly, but I just think that this type of story is better suited as a play. It just has that air about it. The fact that you also cast Freddie Prinze Jr and Tori Spelling in important roles also has lot to do with that, because I'm sure, at least I'd hope, that the actors for the play were better than those two. But, with that said, I pretty much have to give the utmost of praise to Parker Posey, who pretty much hits a grandslam in the bottom of the 9th on a 3-2 count. Perhaps that's a bit of hyperbole, but Parker is quite excellent in this movie and if it wasn't for her and her comical, yet disturbing performance of this woman who has an unhealthy obsession with her brother. To the point that she actually shoots him at one point before he is to leave for New York to study. Clearly she's the most interesting character in the entire movie, though everyone in the family has their little issues. Without Parker Posey, or someone just as good as her, this movie wouldn't have been nearly as good as it is now. Yes, the writing is good and the rest of the cast, outside of Freddie and Tori, are good, but there's nothing outstanding about it, particularly considering the subject matter. They do go to some dark places regarding mental illnesses, but it's a movie that fancies itself to be cleverer than it actually is. But, still, by and large, thanks to Parker Posey and a solid script, this ends up being a good movie. It has its flaws and it doesn't always make a smooth transition from play to film, but it's a fairly good movie and one that I'd recommend if you have Netflix. Can't really recommend this as a rental or a buy.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • May 08, 2014
    "The House of Yes" is a little gem of an indie film, which alternates between crass satire and dark comedy with seeming ease. The set-up of the film has us transported to a family manor on the outskirts of Washington D.C. where Jackie-O, her brother Anthony, and their mother await the arrival of Jackie's twin, Marty, and his fiancee, Lesly. These WASPs turn out to be some of the sickest people around, as they hide secrets, manipulate each other, incite violence, and revel in their insanity. Jackie-O especially has problems coping with her brother's relationship, and her jealousy is evident from their very first meeting. Though the plot of this film is nearly nonexistent at times, it's the characters that we really care about, or more aptly, whether or not Jackie-O will manipulate and seduce her brother like she once has before. This film is quite dark, but also quite inspired. It's uncomfortably funny, in the darkest possible terms, and features some great performances, especially Parker Posey, Queen of Indies. A must see for nineties indie junkies, and Parker Posey's minions.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 15, 2012
    It's scary how believably Marty (and the viewer) gets sucked into the hermetically loving vacuum of family.
    Letitia L Super Reviewer
  • Feb 04, 2012
    Definitely not for everyone. But a very witty screenplay and interesting watch. Favorite lines; Mrs. Pascal: Oh my God, I sounded just like a mother! Didn't I sound just like a mother? Marty: You are a mother. Mrs. Pascal: I know, but I still can't believe it. I look at you people and wonder, how did you ever fit in my womb? Lesly: This is how you raised them? Mrs. Pascal: People raise cattle. Children just happen. Lesly: You were spying on us? Mrs. Pascal: A mother doesn't spy. A mother pays attention. Jackie-O: Men and their secrets. Lesly: Not all men have secrets. Jackie-O: We all have our secrets. Marty: I wasn't going to make fun of her. I was going to ask her what she cries about. Jackie-O: [turns away] What do you think? You want somebody for a very long time. And then you have them. And they love you. And they make love to you. But it's not enough. This is the truth about sex. Marty: Are you being wise? Jackie-O: One day I woke up wise. Marty: One day I woke up stupid. Jackie-O: What'd you do? Marty: I went back to bed. Jackie-O: That was wise. Jackie-O: Goo is what tape is all about. Goo is what makes it tape instead of *paper*. Anthony: Nobody *buys* matches. People *find* matches. Lesly: I don't think you're insane. I think you're just spoiled. Lesly: Boy, it's been a long day. Jackie-O: Not as long as yesterday. Yesterday was 24 whole hours.
    Sam R Super Reviewer

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