Room Service - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Room Service Reviews

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½ January 4, 2017
It's not a very good movie, but it's got just enough genuine laughs to keep you watching through the whole thing.
November 27, 2016
Is it just me, or do they play con-men in every movie?
November 23, 2016
not my favorite from 'the boys'
½ September 13, 2016
It might not look it considering the star rating I give this, but compared to so many of their other films this was a rather soggy disappointment. This is the first time the Marx brothers were really saddled with a "plot", and it's so stage-bound it makes The Cocoanuts look like a John Ford Monument Valley western. They actually have to have (gulp) story functions here, and for all of the zaniness that they try to inject something feels... off here.

In what is basically a movie where a highlight is a flying turkey (where you can see the wire, and I did laugh quite a lot during these turkey bits as it's silly enough to get by), the brothers play theater hustlers trying to get a play produced and they try to keep their actors set up at the hotel - trouble is a stuffy and blustery hotel manager wants them out so they have to concoct a series of schemes (usually with the playwright) to keep their rooms.

I couldn't stand the actor playing the hotel manager, Wagner played by Donald MacBride, who is completely one note and yells most of his dialog just in case we don't see he's trying to be funny (he's even saddled with a catch phrase, "JUMPIN BUTTERBALLS!" which according to IMDb was some "softened" language from the play to screen). And Frank Albertson as Leo Davis (the playwright) is unconvincing and seems to whine through much of his performance - he's technically supposed to be the "normal" character we get in a lot of Marx movies, but it doesn't work here since, with the exception of Harpo who can't help but he who/what/when/why/how he is, everyone is fairly normal and caught in the wheel-grinder of the plot.

I don't know if this would work better on stage, and seemingly at the time since it was successful I'd venture a guess that it was. But it doesn't gfit the sensibilities of the three brothers who thrive off of fast-peppy dialog and zingers. Now, this isn't to say if you decide to watch this there's nothing there for you period; lines do stick out that, I imagine, were written for the Marx brothers (i.e. Harpo first appears, takes off his jacket and is without a shirt, Chico says, "He don't believe in wearing a shirt," to which Groucho responds, "Oh, an atheist, eh?"), and Harpo's moments and perfectly times weirdness get one through. But make no mistake this is not a good use of these men's time, and unlike the best of their work this hasn't aged well (I wasn't even sure how this hotel stuff even works in this time and place).

In short: it's not enough to just have these three guys on screen - there's got to be good things for them to say and interactions that WORK for their sensibilities. You can't fit a Marx peg in a round hole.
December 15, 2015
This is not the best Marx Brothers' film, but it's still a funny screwball comedy that's toned-down a thousand octaves after the high-blown antics of "Duck Soup", "A Night at the Opera", and even "A Day at the Races". If those three movies hadn't happened, this would be the logical successor. Jumping Butterballs! No musical numbers! Early Lucille Ball! Ann Miller!
August 11, 2015
This is easily one of my favourite Marx Bros movies, probably because its a con movie. A zany acting troupe have been staying at in a hotel for six months, and management wants them to pay. The troupe just needs a financial backer, and they have to hoodwink, lie, cheat, kidnap, steal, and do anything to get that money to get into production. Lucille Ball plays is straight as an actress, but its the four to five non-comedic roles that really make this a strong comedy. So many elements in one room, with the Marx brothers doing everything under the sun to pull off their little schemes. Room Service is an underrated Marx Bros comedy for sure.
½ May 2, 2015
not as lively as other Marx movies
February 26, 2015
Despite what some users say about this Marx classic, this is my fave! Highly recommended.
½ November 29, 2014
As far as Marx Brothers movies go, Room Service is probably one of their least when it comes to laughs. There are some here and there, but the whole thing feels uneven tonally. It feels more serious most of the time than comedic. The plot follows the goofy guys as they attempt to raise enough money to put on a play while also trying to hide from a grumpy hotel manager and keep their actors and crew from quitting on them. Hijinks and witticisms ensue. There's nothing much new here for the guys, but there's an overriding sense of urgency, as well as a tone that wavers too heavily towards serious. On the one hand, it's used for dramatic effects, but on the other, you can never really feel sorry for these guys, as likable as they are. They're sketches of people more than they are characters, which is why I don't think this particular movie works. It's not a terrible movie from the Marx Bros., but it's certainly not one of their best.
October 29, 2014
Although a comparatively minor work of theirs, I really enjoyed the Marx Brothers in this one, in which they're trying to stay with room and board, along with all of their cast and crew, while waiting for funds for their stage play to come in. Nice early showcase for Lucille Ball and Ann Miller too, in minor supporting roles. If you get the chance, don't miss out on this one.
October 8, 2014
It has it good gags fitting all those people in one room, but the plot is not always there.
April 22, 2014
OK, but not great, Marx Brothers movie.

Started off well enough. Set up was good, some good one-liners from Groucho and was quite coherent. Middle section had some great sight gags (anything involving the turkey, and Harpo being diagnosed by the doctor, especially).

However, from a point it lost coherence and just got silly. Not ridiculously, unwatchably silly, but just mundane and not too funny.

Overall, the jokes were weaker than their best, and even Groucho's famous wisecracks seemed weaker and fewer-and-further-between.

Performances, given the material, are OK though. Lucille Ball is great in a supporting role, and not just for her acting... Good support too from Ann Miller and Frank Albertson.

Certainly not in the same league as A Night At The Opera or Duck Soup, but reasonably entertaining nevertheless.
March 24, 2014
"Room Service" is the only film the Marx Brothers made that was not written specifically for them or their characters. It is based on a play, and it is decent...but it is less frantic and fast paced as their other films. As usual, the brothers are funny, but the film lacks the nuttiness that make their their pictures so good.
June 26, 2013
A decent adaptation of a stage play for film with a moderate performance from the Marx Brothers.
May 3, 2013
Despite what some users say about this Marx classic, this is my fave! Highly recommended.
January 22, 2013
clostrophobia when all those ppl clean that room
December 25, 2012
Groucho Marx plays a shifty stage producer whose racked up a substantial debt at the hotel he's using to lodge the cast for his latest show. The ornery hotel inspector (Donald MacBride) is on the verge of closing the production before it even opens, but a dosage of Marxian mayhem could win the day once again. The Marx Brothers starred in some of the funniest movies ever made, but the law of diminishing returns had set in by the time this one came to screen. Most of the scenes in this story turgidly drag on while lacking any memorable bits. Room Service, which wasn't written with the Marx Brothers in mind, doesn't have enough of Groucho's witticisms, Harpo's pantomime antics, or Chico's conniving.
December 10, 2012
It holds up as one of the funniest films ever made. Most say it's not the Marx Brother's best, but I have a soft spot for it.
½ October 3, 2012
Disappointing...but did have a scene that had me crying with laughter...Harpo really is very funny in these movies. Something we noticed was that there was no chico on piano and no Harpo on harp...which is interesting...and, didn't help it.
August 7, 2012
I love the Marx Brothers, but this one is just a total miss.
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