The Money Pit (1986)
Looking at Tom Hanks’ output over the last twenty years or so, a new viewer to his work would be forgiven for thinking he was always middle of the road. It’s difficult to appreciate that he started his career playing in broad comedies like The Money Pit. In fact, he was one of Hollywood’s biggest comedy stars of the eighties. And he was damn good at it too.
Tom Hanks and Shelley Long play Walter and Anna, and Alexander Gudunov steals almost every scene he is in as Anna’s narcissistic ex-boyfriend. Walter and Anna buy a dream house cheaply to start their life together, but as it falls apart around them it soon becomes apparent why the house had such a low price.
The Money Pit was one of my mum’s favourite movies – certainly the comedy that I heard her laugh at the most. I must have seen it a dozen times when I was a kid – many times with my mum – and she laughed as hard the twelfth time as she did the first. She has the preternatural ability to extract almost the same value from every viewing: it’s like some kind of cinematic amnesia. I envy that, because with something as funny as The Money Pit it would be great to have that first experience back again.