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Housebroken (DVD Review)

24 Mar, 2010 By: Billy Gil

Street 3/30/10
$27.98 DVD, $35.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for crude and sexual content and language throughout.
Stars Danny DeVito, Katey Sagal, Ryan Hansen, Skyler Stone.

I had higher hopes than run-of-the-mill frat-style comedy for Housebroken, but that’s pretty much what you get.

Danny DeVito stars as the retiring father of two permanently adolescent “children” in their 20s who live with their parents, jobless and aimless. Once he realizes how annoying it is to have two grown men consuming without contributing in his household, he and the boys’ doting mother (Katey Sagal) decide to disappear for a while to a cabin to leave the boys to fend for themselves.

Ryan Hansen and Skyler Stone, as the two man-children, stir up some fun, inviting a quirky, cute renter to live with them while getting into trouble with their loser friends, one a slob who goes by the moniker “shirtless boy” and the other a stereotypical gay pal who seems oddly placed, just to excuse all the gay jokes. But the writing doesn’t give them much to work with, relying on the same fart jokes and bawdy humor you saw in a hundred ’90s movies. That doesn’t fly so much these days, with Judd Apatow and Todd Phillips having elevated the genre with clever writing and originality.

The best bits come with the interplay between Sagal, who still looks fantastic and shows the same comedic chops she did in “Married … With Children,” and DeVito, who parlays his grouchy persona from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” into Housebroken’s tough-love father. Unfortunately, given a plot device that keeps them at bay for most of the film, we’re left with a crew of bumbling idiots and not much in the way of memorable humor beyond a few easy laughs.

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