How to Beat the High Cost of Living - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

How to Beat the High Cost of Living Reviews

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September 1, 2016
Great cast drowned by 80s white male privilige. Casual racism and sexism sink this worse than Jessica Lange standing up in the canoe. Even more sad is that this app lists the men and not the 3 stars of the movie in its blurb.
June 16, 2016
Comedy about group of ladies struggling to make ends meet in tough economic times and resorting to plotting a shopping mall robbery. Never overcomes the bleak overall theme. The losses are covered by insurance so the actions are whitewashed and everyone is happy in the end. Jessica Lange looks terrific.
½ March 15, 2015
Set and filmed in Eugene, OR, this film brings back lots of hometown childhood nostalgia. And little did I know that this was my chance to meet Jessica Lange and become her boyfriend when she was in town filming this comedy, though I'm not sure 9 year old me could have pulled that off. But seriously, this film had a cast of super cool people who were all in my hometown, including Susan Saint James, Jane Curtin, Jessica Lange, Richard Benjamin, Eddie Albert, Dabney Coleman, Fred Willard, Sybil Danning andGarrett Morris, who now the fanboy in me would have freaked out at the chance to meet them. Watching this film was so fun, having it primarily set at our local mall, Valley River Center, getting so see again the retro floor pattern, the cool spiral staircase, stores like Alberts Hosery, the Card Cage, or the old timey colonial front to Burch's Shoes, or the funky columns and the sparkly lights at the center of the mall. That, and getting to see 1980s Eugene with big American cars and station wagons driving around town just can't be beat. For this reason along, every child of the 80s who grew up in Eugene should really watch this film. So, given all that, I will somewhat recuse myself from being an objective reviewer of the film. I spent most of the film trying to figure out the location of each scene, where's that Taco Time location?, which Texaco is that? which ball field is this scene being filmed on? I'm thinking the story about three desperate housewives who are all short of cash hatching a wacky scheme to rob a cash giveaway contest being held at the local mall is okay if nothing all that special. The cast is fabulous, but the humor wasn't all that funny. Still, Jessica Lange is wildly gorgeous and is still one of my all-time favorite actresses which that alone made the film worth watching for me. And as an aside, I recently came to realization that the list of classic films she's been in that will be remembered 50 years from now is surprisingly short.
October 27, 2012
Three women plot a robbery to deal with skyrocketing inflation. Pre-Kate & Allie collaboration for Curtin and St. James. I didn't care for Richard Benjamin's character. A Garrett Morris appearance was still billed as "special" in 1980.
April 29, 2012
I love this movie!!!!!
February 24, 2011
Three women plot a robbery to deal with skyrocketing inflation. Pre-Kate & Allie collaboration for Curtin and St. James. I didn't care for Richard Benjamin's character. A Garrett Morris appearance was still billed as "special" in 1980.
February 12, 2011
"They're No Angels"

"A new comedy for everyone who ever wanted to do to the System what the System's been doing to them."

Jane Curtin and Susan St. James (co-stars on TV's "Kate and Allie") share star billing with Jessica Lange in this comedy about three women who need cash -- fast. Jane (St. James) is divorced and struggling to raise her children; Elaine's (Curtin) husband left with all their assets except the house and car; and Louise's (Lange) antiques store is about to go bust. They hit on a scheme to rob the local shopping mall of its lottery money. Also features Richard Benjamin as Jessica Lange's husband, Fred Willard as St James boyfriend, Eddie Albert as her father, Dabney Coleman as Curtains love interest, and SNL alumni Garrett Morris has a cameo as the electric guy.

Elaine: I know how to get the money out of the money ball!
Louise: How?
Elaine: Suck!


Louise: Oh, I don't know, there's got to be some way we can make money.
Elaine: We can make porno films and all wear ski masks.
Jane: No, Robert and I got bombed out one night. We put a little "I love you" tattoo on my ankle.
Elaine: [to Jane] Ok, we'll wear masks, you wear socks.
Louise: Come on, let's get out of here.
Elaine: What do you think about a doggy bag for the butter?


Jane: I don't believe it! Mom threw you out and moved a friend in? When?
Max: This afternoon?
[tapping his watch]
Max: thirteen hundred and twenty hours.
Jane: What's his name?
Max: His name? His name is Shirley. Shirley Levine. That's right! Your mother, age 64 has joined The Sun City Gay Liberation Movement.
Jane: But that's impossible. All I ever remember Mom telling me was how much she loved you, and that she would never look another man. Of course she never did mention another woman.


Albert: Louise, I swear to you there is no money. If you only knew what was going on in that hospital. It's not only the IRS, I'm in deep financial trouble, and I need you to hold me, to hug me, to kiss me, to reassure me that everything isn't as hopeless as it looks.
Louise: The only thing that is hopeless, Albert is that you're horny 24 hours a day.


Patty: What do you want?
Elaine: I want you to get this lousy bank to lend me some money, or at least extend my MasterCharge limit. Oh, Patty, You've got to help me! I'm broke, flat busted broke. The house and car payments are due on Monday, I need money.
Patty: You know how banks operate. They only lend money to people who don't need it.


Jane: I know we've only got two days to go, but I don't know why you guys are so mad at me. You know I can't afford a baby-sitter, and Max is at a "Senior Citizens For Reagan" meeting tonight.
Elaine: Jesus, Jane. This is a royal pain in the ass. I mean, tonight's important. We're psychologically testing ourselves by robbing Wheeler's and you bring your kids along. Can't you leave them home just once?
Jane: Are you serious? The last time that I left those two alone Billy took nude pictures of Laurie with his Polaroid and sent them into Playboy Magazine. It's dangerous!
Elaine: Oh, I see. You bring them along on a robbery where they'll be safe!


Elaine: This is an emergency!
Power and Light man: It always is.
Elaine: [Lying] No, I am serious. My mother is a very sick woman. She's in the bed next to me with her kidney machine, which has kept her alive for seven years. This wonderful 84-year-old woman!
Elaine: [pretending to talk to "mama"] What's that mama? The machine isn't going "ta-pocketa ta-pocketa ta-pocketa" anymore? Oh my God! No, I'm not talking to Oral Roberts on the phone mama, it's too late for that. But the man on the other end of the phone cares. You do care, don't you? You will turn the power back on, won't you?
Power and Light man: Lady, that was beautiful, really terrific. I've been here seven years, and that's the best I've heard yet. Great performance. But look, all is not lost. Thrifti-Mart is open 24 hours.
Elaine: What good will that do?
Power and Light man: They sell beautiful candles!
[hangs up the phone and laughs hysterically]


Albert: [quoting Abraham Lincoln] You know what he said, "With malice toward none and charity to all."
Louise: And the last thing he said was "Look honey, I've got these two great seats for the theater tonight."
Albert: Jesus, why did I have to bring up Lincoln?


Elaine: [Louise has just jumped in the water to get the bag of money] I thought you said you couldn't swim!
Louise: [flailing her arms] I can't!
Elaine: [groans] Ok, You'll go get the money bag and I'll save the genius.
Jane: You know, we could split up the money right now...
Elaine: SWIM! NOW!
½ January 18, 2011
It was a real cute movie. There was a few good quotes in the movie. It's reminds me of Mad Money, but an older.
Super Reviewer
½ January 10, 2011
A great movie with a great cast and a great story. This is a hilarious comedy, and I really liked it, and recommend seeing it.
½ November 6, 2010
Mildly amusing, sometimes actually funny tale of 3 woman who see their problems solved by robbing a mall contest ball filled with cash. Fast paced, but check your mind in at the door if you want a beliveable plot.

Jane Curtin, a regular of the early Saturday Night Live television show, along with her pals actually think they can steal what they need to get by. Each has the motive, but can they execute this mad cap idea? Dabney Coleman, a local policeman, falls in love with Curtin after repeated run ins with her. Richard Benjamin is a husband of one of these nut cases and he's terrific. Garrett Morris, also of SNL, plays a part in this as well and to very funny effect.

This is a fantasy plot of 3 naive or silly woman, both probably. Suggested for light comedy fans only.

The title though gets very high marks for creativeness.

Susan Saint James (television actress)
Jane Curtin (Saturday Night Live tv)
Jessica Lange (movie actress)
Eddie Albert (veteran movie/television actor)
Richard Benjamin (veteran movie actor)
Cathryn Damon
Dabney Coleman (veteran movie actor)
Art Metrano
Garrett Morris (Saturday Night Live television)
Fred Willard

Executive Producer: Samuel Z. Arkoff
Editor: Bill Butler
Cinematographer: James Crabe
Set Decorator : Peg Cummings
Producer: Robert Kaufman
Screenplay: Robert Kaufman
Associate Producer: Robert Krause
Associate Producer: Robin Krause
Production Designer: Lawrence G. Paull
Director: Robert Scheerer
Story by: Leonora Thuna
Composer: Patrick Williams
Music Supervisor: Patrick Williams
Producer: Jerome M. Zeitman
½ September 5, 2010
Jane Curtin, Susan St James (yes, both Kate AND Allie) and Jessica Lange deal with a recession and plan a wacky heist involving a globe of money at a shopping mall, canoes, a Guffman style local pageant, subterranean tunnels, and more. Starts slow, then gets agreeably goofy, but there's a reason why this is mostly forgotten. Also, this came out the same year as "Nine to Five" and is even less successful in trying to address gender politics.
May 18, 2010
True 80s classic film filled with laughs and hairball sceme.

It's interesting to note that a few years later both Jane Curtin and Susan Saint James teamed up in a tv series that last six years.
½ August 23, 2009
My brother snuck us into the Rogue Valley Mall in Eugen Oregon (forget what year) to be illegal extras in one scene in this movie. I have never seen the movie, myself. lol
June 27, 2009
(3 stars out of 5) Zany & wacky 80's hijinks caper as Jane Curtain, Susan St. James (Kate & Allie) and Jessica Lange plot to knock over a mall after their husbands screw them over leaving them financially destroyed. After watching the film I couldn't help but wonder where Jane Curtain is these days? Not only does she have pitch perfect comedic timing but she's one hell of an actress in the same league with Jessica Lange who still has a thriving career! Anywho, check it out for sh*ts and giggles.
½ June 25, 2009
Hilarious movie, great actors, and a good story, how can you go wrong? I loved this movie.
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