Producer Leslie Dixon
Writer Tom Ropelewski
Director Tom Ropelewski
Music director David Newman
Country United States
|Release date February 16, 1990 (1990-02-16) (U.S.)|
Cast Kirstie Alley (Jessie Bannister), John Larroquette (Mark Bannister), Alison LaPlaca, Jessica Lundy, John Diehl
Similar movies Kirstie Alley appears in Madhouse and Sibling Rivalry
Tagline The bad news is you have houseguests. There is no good news.
Stockbroker Mark and TV Reporter/Anchorwoman Jessie Bannister, a successful yuppie couple with an idyllic California life, have it interrupted when both of them find out that a cousin of Mark's, Fred, and his pregnant wife, Bernice, are flying in from New Jersey to visit on the same day they arrive. First days are slightly chaotic, particularly because of Bernice's cat, yet bearable. Mark gives the both of them 300 dollars to spend touring the city and grant the couple some alone time, when Jessie's gold digger sister Claudia arrives demanding hospitality due to the fact that she had a fight with her rich Middle East husband Kaddir, whom she divorces after he cancels all her credit cards. Throughout this time, Fred and Bernice's visit is to last only five days until Bernice falls on the way to the airport and is instructed by her doctor, Dr. Penix, not to leave until she delivers six months later.
At a local bar, Mark motivates Fred to quit being Bernice's pet, but Fred takes the message too far and says he's leaving to find himself. Meanwhile, Mark's next door neighbor and carpenter Dale builds a machine for Bernice. As a pregnant woman and a shrew by character, Bernice becomes increasingly irritating, even demanding constant burials for her cat - whom 'dies' in multiple circumstances - and more and more trivial requests, such as Television and meals. Claudia's lazy son Jonathan eventually also comes to leave with them. Mark's neighbor Dale then seduces Claudia per Jessie's request, but things take a turn for the worse when Mark and Jessie inadvertently burn Dale's villa, whose insurance will only enter effect in three months. As a result, he, his misbehaving son C.K. and his phone-obsessed trampoline-jumping daughter Katy move in with Mark and Jessie, whom are forced to accept them to avoid an arson lawsuit.
As the days pass, things become chaotic for the couple, with them virtually being forced out of their own home. Mark's friend and colleague Wes finds both of them outside living like hippies after Mark fails to show up for work, and Wes motivates Mark to resist a little longer, especially as Mark is on the verge of closing a successful deal for his boss, Bob Grindle. After Mark discovers a box from Bogota containing cocaine sent to him but requested by Jonathan, and meeting Fred, who has grown a mustache and has a baby elephant with him, he is chased by the police, whom destroy Mark's house during their bust. Due to the increasing tension of having abusive visitors, Jessie manifests her anger on T.V. as she works as a reporter, which causes frictions for her at work. Pushed to their limit and facing apparent ruin and imminent charges, Mark and Jesse decide they'll leave the house to the guests and leave town, starting new lives.
Mark and Jessie return to salvage what they can find. Yet hope and new encouragement arises after both of them hear a recording from Dr. Penix stating Bernice was never even pregnant to begin with. An enraged Jessie catapults Bernice from her bed to the backyard and forces her to confess, then proceeds to ruin her Claudia's expensive clothes to force her out. Mark grabs Dale's electric saw and makes him leave with his two children. Lastly, Jessie puts fireworks on Jonathan's cocaine bag, which explodes as he tries to flee on Dale's rent Lotus. Mark and Jessie then threaten to torch their own house in order to keep away their parasitic visitors for good, when the police arrives, stating they will apologize and pay for damages incurred after their only evidence - Bernice's cat - disappeared from evidence locker. Bob Grindle also arrives and, because Mark accidentally forgot to sell the stocks after a proposed company scandal, Grindle amassed a strong fortune as the scandal was false, thus earning Mark a large profit and even a chance for promotion. Claudia takes the opportunity to seduce Grindle while Dale starts dating one of the police officers, much to C.K's chagrin. Lastly, as Bernice prepares to leave, not only she discovers Fred has begun to take charge, but the cat also changed sides, preferring to remain with Mark and Jessie. After everyone finally leaves, Jessie and Mark get cozy, then Mark, as a last touch, smashes the ever-malfunctioning toilet with a sledgehammer.
In the epilogue it states that Mark and Jessie - whom earned a TV show of her own due to her angry outburst - move to a 3 bedroom house in Malibu and live happily ever after... until their parents come for a visit.
The film was written and directed by Tom Ropelewski, and produced by Leslie Dixon. The cinematographer was Denis Lewiston.
ReferencesMadhouse (1990 film) Wikipedia
Madhouse (1990 film) IMDbMadhouse (1990 film) Roger EbertMadhouse (1990 film) themoviedb.org