Guest House (2020) Dec 28, 2020 12:40:33 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Dec 28, 2020 12:40:33 GMT -5
Guest House (2020)
Directed by: Sam Macaroni
Directed by: Sam Macaroni
Blake (Mike Castle, right) sucker-punches his obnoxious tenant Randy (Pauly Shore) in Guest House.
Throughout his peak popularity in the 1990s, Pauly Shore was never a particularly vulgar performer. He was the appropriate combination of the eccentric nineties stoner who was a quip-machine and a silly archetype for a generation fueled by potato chips and grunge. That said, it is a bit jarring to see him fling f-bombs and dabble into hard drugs in his latest star-vehicle, Guest House. It reminds me a great deal of Adam Sander's seldom-mentioned, R-rated rendezvous That's My Boy where Sandler attempted to infuse his schtick with no-holds-barred raunchiness and vulgarity.
That's My Boy had many issues, but one of the larger ones was that it was predicated on a comedian trying to add edge to his style in the crudest ways possible. The same goes for Guest House. Where Shore is typically amiable in a slacker sense, ala Encino Man and Bio-Dome, his smirk-inducing likability is traded for perhaps his most sinister character yet in Randy Cockfield. Randy is a pot-smoking, cocaine-snorting Tasmanian devil who lives in a cozy guest-house that sits on a lavish property that's up-for-sale. The house looks attractive to the soon-to-be-married Blake and Sarah (Mike Castle and Aimee Teegarden, respectively), and after some animated debate, they feel they can live with Randy's shenanigans at least temporarily while he searches for another place.
The problem? Randy isn't intent on going anywhere. He threateningly claims that California's tenant rights always lean in favor of the tenant. This leads to an all-out war between Blake and Randy despite their initial attempts to be cordial with one another (by cordial, I mean Randy allowing Blake a few hits from his bong and a chance to be the life of his party). Adding to the stress of the situation is Blake and Sarah's impending wedding, Sarah's father's (Billy Zane) extreme dislike for Blake, and Randy buddying up to local law-enforcement (Erik Griffin, Lou Ferrigno of all people) whenever there is a problem. Blake also works for a skateboarding company headed by Jackass' very own Steve-O, who gives the impression that he might be just as crazy sober as he was under the influence.
Guest House is Shore's first star-vehicle since Whiskey Business in 2012 (which premiered on CMT of all places). It's not hard to see why. Screenwriters don't seem quite sure what to do with Shore in the present day, which is perhaps why he's shifted his career to standup-comedy in recent years. There are echoes of "the Weasel" in Shore's Randy, but they're offset by his persistent unlikable nature and vulgar disposition. It's one thing to watch Shore "wheeze the juice" in a convenient store, or cause trouble in a bubble, all for the sake of playful laughs and camaraderie, but seeing Randy do things such as feed "flakka" to a possum that winds up infecting Blake and Sarah's houseguests comes off as incredibly contemptible.
Guest House certainly has moments of fun, but even then, they're often underscored by a sense of mean-spiritedness, similar to Step Brothers. This is a raunchy comedy that too often forgets that antics are only half the battle; you need some semblance of wit to accompany the chaos and Guest House merely has it in spurts.
NOTE: Guest House is now streaming on Netflix.
Starring: Pauly Shore, Mike Castle, Aimee Teegarden, Billy Zane, Steve-O, Erik Griffin, Charlotte McKinney, Chris Kattan, Lou Ferrigno, and Bobby Lee. Directed by: Sam Macaroni.