Life Stinks - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Life Stinks Reviews

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December 2, 2016
This is so underrated! It's just a feel good, innocent story with really hilarious moments. This is obviously not a movie to take seriously or watch if you're in the mood for action or drama, but for comedy this is delightful and will leave you feeling good.
½ August 15, 2016
Mel Brooks followed up "SpaceBalls" with this disaster at social commentary. The thin plot involves a rich land developer trying to live on skid row for a month to win a bet. It's cheap looking and mostly laugh free. The highlight is a loopy, Kafka-esque scene in a hospital. I wish the rest of the film was that demented.
July 26, 2016
It's intermittently funny and Mel Brooks should be given some credit for his attempt at directing and starring in a comedy that's not a parody but given its uneven pacing and formulaic plot about a rich guy pretending to be penniless for a month, Life Stinks is a movie that stinks.
April 22, 2016
One of Mel Brooks' weaker films
½ October 5, 2015
I remember quite liking this film in the theater when it first came out. I'm not sure I appreciated at the time that this was writer/director Mel Brooks few outings not doing a parody film and telling an original story (though Brooks did produce a number of less goofy of films like "The Elephant Man," "Francis" and "My Favorite Year"). Here Brooks tells the story of a millionaire taking a bet that he can't survive on the street for thirty days. Brooks takes the bet and proceeds to have a series of comic set pieces, some romance, and some surprisingly sincere moments. Watching this film now, I can really this this film as an old style Preston Sturges type of comedy that can have broad slapstick in one scene and some sincere drama the next. Few films can pull that off and this film does a pretty good job of this. The cast, which includes Lesley Ann Warren, Jeffrey Tambor, Stuart Pankin, Rudy De Luca, Billy Barty and Brian Thompson, get a lot of credit for making it all work. This film is not as classic as say "Young Frankenstein" or "The Producers" though this film may represent the most modern of his comedies. But like I said earlier, this film is in many ways very old fashioned, so I'm not sure it will actually appear to all audiences.
½ July 30, 2015
Worth for the street dance
½ April 1, 2015
There is humor here although it is strained.
March 2, 2015
It's a bit too bleak and depressing, but Mel Brooks can always be counted on for a laugh. It's not one of his classics, but it has its moments.
January 1, 2015
Weak script with a few mindless diversions.
December 18, 2014
This movie, relying heavily on jokes about rich versus poor, Mel Brooks' painfully contrived story, and Jeffrey Tambor's painfully awkward, bizarre and unfunny humour, makes it Mel Brooks' weakest film. While he did try creating an original comedy movie (something the critics have noticed), he had much better luck spoofing them himself.
December 9, 2014
Normally, when filmmakers step outside of their comfort zone, I'm excited to see the end result even when it isn't entirely successful. Mel Brooks is one of the most renown and respected comedic filmmakers of the modern age, and "Life Stinks" is his attempt at making a socially responsible comedy, and the finished product is an utter disaster.

There are attempts at humor in the film, make no mistakes about that, with with Brooks you can count on either biting satire or goofy, go-for-broke sight gags. You'll find none of that here. Because of the subject matter. most of the humor is uncomfortable and it doesn't mix well with the paths and social commentary.

I can understand Brooks wanting to shine a light on a serious subject matter through the use of humor, but here the line between the two is blurred and neither is effective. The homeless in the film are fairly impossible to take seriously because they are written as kooky but lovable scamps. The upside of that is that it makes the preposterous relationship that develops between Brooks and bag lady Lesley Anne Warren palatable but still incredibly difficult to stomach.

There are also several basic contrivances with the story that are never fully resolved, but they do make for a happy ending in which everyone learns a lesson and is wiser for the experience. Everyone, that is, except for the audience of "Life Stinks." It's a definite departure for Brooks that still tries to retain the spirit of his earlier films, but the gamble misfires badly. It's a somber experience, and the lack of successful jokes make it even more unbearable.
½ September 15, 2014
Mel Brooks strayed from the straight parody genre to make this social satire about the rich and the homeless. Brooks plays one of the richest man in the world, who cares little for the problems of the poor and disenfranchised. He owns half of the property in the slums of Los Angeles, and plans to buy the other half from the city...but a rich rival buys it up first, ruining his chances of building an extravagant dream center. The two make a bet, if Brooks character can stay on the streets with no assets for 30 days, he gets the other half of the property, if he does not, he must give his half to the rival. Along the way he learns life lessons and his eyes are opened to the world of the poor...it is good character stuff. Unfortunately for Brooks, he manages to hit a lot of the right satiric notes, but rarely manages to get out the laughs. Great message, a decent cast, weak in the funny department. I would say this film is slightly underrated critically, but it isn't as funny as Brooks commentary on the subject should be.
½ June 16, 2014
Adventures on the streets of Downtown LA--A different Mel Brooks movie, that manages to make you smile and think!!
May 8, 2014
I don't normally like Mel Brooks movies, however when he writes or stars in original material I seem to dig it. With that said, this comedy isn't perfect and it sure isn't satire at its finest but it is a watchable film with a great change of pace.
May 5, 2014
Funny but unfunny all at once!
February 9, 2014
Life Stinks is a fun film. I give this flick 4 stars.
Super Reviewer
June 7, 2013
Heck! This MOVIE stinks! Not funny in the least.
June 3, 2013
This odd and funny film is really enjoyable to watch. Styled in an over the top manner, it is witty and satirizes some serious issues. Overall a good film if somewhat too cheesy at times.
½ March 17, 2013
I really enjoyed Life Stinks unlike many others, specifically because it dealt with the homeless theme in a strong dramatic way but used light comedy to soothe the audience.
Mel Gibson gave a great turnaround in a dramatic performance, and quickly turned from a upper class snob into a character we really feel sorry for and care for. He also had good comedic moments and gave excellent direction to the story and so it ended up like a more dramatic version of Trading Places but with a single character, and I found that Life Stinks came off as a clever satire and was if nothing else, inspiring and uplifting. Life Stinks is another film that is way too unappreciated, and is a nice change of pace for Mel Brooks.
Also, Lesley Ann Warren gave an excellent and very sweet yet strong performance opposite Mel Brooks, and she reminded me all too perfectly of Susan Sarandon. I really enjoyed the level of emotion she brought to the screen.
Life Stinks was a nice simple look at the underclass life and really plays the issues the characters are forced to face to tug at the heartstrings of the viewers, and I found it to b a strong drama with some good comedic moments along the way so it doesn't aim to be too melodramatic. I enjoyed Life Stinks, more so than a lot of other people did.
March 7, 2013
"Goddard Bolt" (Mel Brooks, who also the director and co-writer) is a successful millionaire businessman who is about to purchase a major piece of property from Los Angeles that is filled with the homeless. His plan is to demolish the rundown buildings, and replace it with new, expensive buildings.

However, he makes a bet with a co-executive, "Vance Crasswell" (Jeffrey Tambor) after he says he could live without his money. The bet -- live on the street, penniless, for 30 days.

On the street, he meets those who rely on the kindness of strangers. He even meets a woman (Lesley Ann Warren) who lives in an alley, whom he becomes infatuated with.

However, when it's time to collect his winnings on the bet, he learns that his life has been turned upside down. Now, he has to fight his way back into his life of privilege.

The first thing you will notice is that this movie lacks good laugh-out-loud humor like many of Brooks' classics. I probably laughed possibly four times through the whole movie. Yes, this is satire, but knowing how Brooks movies usually are, I was expecting a lot more laughs.

Another thing that is not done well is that you don't get to see a lot of Tambor's character's plans to undermind "Bolt" and take over the business, as well as "Bolt's" personal property.

There are some good performances in this film. Warren and Brooks work nicely together. Brooks plays "Bolt" as a man who slowly changes his way of thinking about the homeless as he learns more and more about them.

One problem with this movie is it barely touches upon how "Crasswell" plans to takeover "Bolt's" empire, which includes personal belongings. We get one scene where you suspect he has a plan that "Bolt" won't like. Then, at the movie's climax, we see his plans in full force.

One thing this movie does well, is wardrobes of the homeless and their makeup. The clothes really look as if they have been worn 24-hours a day for many months to years. Make-up is basically what appears to be dirt smudges.

They really spent some time in the detail of "Bolt's" look in this movie. He starts off clean-cut, and then is slowly transformed into a homeless person. His face grows stubble, and his clothing begins to slowly look as if he hasn't changed his outfit in weeks as the movie progresses.

There are some good performances in this movie, especially from Warren and Brooks. Warren's "Molly" is played with a kind heart, but some obvious issues plague her. "Bolt" starts off as a well-to-do businessman who would walk past a homeless person without making eye contact. He then slowly becomes a person who cares for the problems the homeless, especially when one of those he befriended dies on a sidewalk, and the owner of a near by business is indifferent because the man was homeless.

There are some problems with character development with the supporting characters. To me, they were just plot devices that were not used well at all.

When it comes to music, I honestly can't remember any music in the movie except for the humorously oddly placed dance scene in a clothes filled warehouse.

Despite the minor problems, this is still a fairly good movie. I suggest not to buy or rent it, but watch it on television when there really is nothing else on.
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