Weekend Watch: Man of the House (1995)

Despite having a dangerous criminal with a vendetta after him, attorney Jack Sturges (Chevy Chase) has a tougher adversary to worry about – his girlfriend’s son, Ben (Jonathan Taylor Thomas). As Sturges and Ben’s mom, Sandy (Farrah Fawcett), become more serious, Ben increasingly ups his efforts to sabotage the relationship, since he has no intention of giving up his prime spot in the household dynamic. Sturges is determined to connect with Ben, but Ben is going to make him work for it.

Before I knew or cared who Chevy chase was or batted an eye at – there was “Man of the House”. While I can’t remember seeing it in theatres, I do remember renting it enough times from our local video store to drive my mother crazy. It could have been the fact that I was going through the divorce of my own parents at the time or my love for “Home Improvement” but I adore this movie.

Now, I’m not one for spoilers. So if you’re looking for a full analysis – do yourself a favor and click the button below that says “SPOILERS”.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas & Chevy Chase work surprisingly well together but the true stars of the movie are the father/son duos of the “Minotauk Tribe”. Specifically, George Wendt and his wholesome performance as “Chet Bronski” and Art LaFleur as the stickler for rules “Red Sweeney”. On the flipside, Richard Portnow gives a laughably bad performance as the son of gangster “Frank Renda” in a loosely tied together plot point involving mobsters and an attempt to kill Chevy Chase’s character “Jack Sturges”.

“Man of the House” doesn’t do anything different, new or exciting. In fact, it follows just about every cliché in book. Arguably devolving into a “Home Alone” knock off by the films finale. Normally I would chalk it up to nostalgia but upon a recent re-watch, it holds up well. Sure, Chevy Chase is wasted in a roll that doesn’t suite his strengths and a lot of the films drama comes from a generic lack of communication but through the eyes of a child – who the fuck cares?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Still on the fence? Did I not convince you? Feel free to see what others thought…

Oh wait…people hated this movie.

I had a dog once who had a terrible case of the squirts. He was my best friend in the whole world.

– Ben Archer

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