The Money Pit (1986)

“The Money Pit” is one of those movies that I saw a bunch of times because it used to play in the on TV a lot in the ’90s, but revisiting it as an adult, I found it more humorous than actually funny. Now, any movie with Tom Hanks will have at least *some* charm and affability via his distinctively appealing brand of boy-next-door appeal, and that’s true here: Hanks brings his Everyman likability to the project like nothing could matter more, while the series of unfortunate events that befall he and Shelley Long after the young couple buy a dilapidated mansion have plenty of crowd-pleasing potential. But ultimately, it just kind of feels like a bunch of stuff that happens: There’s no sense of momentum to carry the narrative forward, but at the same time there’s not a whole lot of plot either, so it’s one of those “and then this happens, and then that happens” comedies that gets some chuckles out of you once in a while but just doesn’t feel like a complete meal. It doesn’t help that Hanks and Long have zero romantic or comedic chemistry, because they may as well be acting opposite cardboard cutouts of each other. That being said, there’s a scene with a hilarious Maureen Stapleton as the seller of said mansion that’s worth the price of admission on its own. So, it’s pretty OK in that mid-level ’80s comedy way like “Mannequin” or “Ruthless People,” but there’s much better stuff out there.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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