The Good House (2022)

A ‘House’ in disrepair

A nuanced performance by Sigourney Weaver goes only so far in carrying a tonally challenged character study in which alcohol abuse is liquored up for laughs.

As a successful Realtor in the tony Rockport-like town of Wendover, Mass. (actually Nova Scotia), Weaver’s Hildy Good takes pride in selling oceanside McMansions at top dollar. We know this because Weaver spends most of the movie, wine glass in hand, looking directly into the camera and telling us. It’s one of the many quirky touches applied by the writing-directing team of Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky in a misguided attempt to lend charm to high-functioning inebriation.

In adapting Ann Leary’s novel (with Thomas Bezucha), the married filmmakers have created a clumsy “Gilmore Girls” meets “Peyton Place” vibe, painting Hildy as an adorably glib, quick-with-a-quip drunk who knows everything about everyone, except herself. Her weakness, besides booze, is a disheveled handyman in Kevin Kline’s deceptively sly Frank Getchell, the high school flame she regrets dumping to marry a closeted prig in David Rasche’s Scott.

Now divorced and on a perpetual wine-fueled high, Hildy sets her sights on Frank as a means to distract from the fact that her career, and her town, are being swallowed up by Boston’s idle rich. It’s Weaver’s third collaboration with Kline after the superior one-two of “Dave” and “The Ice Storm,” but the pair struggle to advance a preposterous story (Did I mention Hildy is a descendant of Salem witches?) that at the 11th hour reverses its flippant attitude toward alcoholism via a contrived dramatic twist that jolts Hildy into getting sober. Too late! Like being cornered by a smashed party guest, you look for any excuse to slip away.

Movie review

The Good House

Rated: R for brief sexuality and language

Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline and

Director: Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky

Writer: Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky

Runtime: 114 minutes

Grade: C

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