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233 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn star in this hilarious romantic comedy about the consequences of "stretching" the truth.When architect Newton Davis' girlfriend Becky (Dana Delany) turns down his marriage proposal, his newly-built dream house suddenly becomes nothing more than an empty monument to her rejection. That is, until a chance encounter with Gwen (Hawn) turns his life upside-down.Intrigued by Newton's story, Gwen visits the house and decides to move in on her own. Resourceful and creative, Gwen is soon fixing up the house and charming Newton's family and neighbors - and all the while passing herself off as his new wife! Gwen even befriends Becky, who begins to see a Newton she never knew existed.Horrified at the deception yet unable to stop it, Newton finds himself playing along with her preposterous stories, her attempts at reconciling differences within the family and her campaign for his promotion at work. Finally, he convinces Gwen to fabricate their "divorce" so he can still get married to Becky - until he has a change of heart. It's a delightful, warmhearted and intelligent comedy from director Frank Oz.

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, Dana Delany, Julie Harris, Donald Moffat
    • Directors: Frank Oz
    • Writers: Mark Stein
    • Producers: Brian Grazer
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: July 22, 1998
    • Run Time: 102 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 078322740X
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,874 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Housesitter" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By R.L. Holly on May 5, 2004
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    I wish more projects were assembled for this tag-team of born screwball comedy geniuses, because "Housesitter" offers a great display of how well Martin and Hawn work together onscreen. Their senses of timing are tremendous and both have a gift for physical comedy and wringing the best out of every line of dialogue. I disagree with the original Amazon staff reviewer (I believe the "official" Amazon review has since changed to a more positive judgment), I think this movie is very well constructed, with a tight plotline and just the right balance of jokes and exposition. Not a word or scene is wasted. The humor is absurdist but good-natured, as in older-style films, and the supporting cast does standout service. This is a very underrated comedy, in my view, and I give it a high recommendation for fans of either of these fine actors or zany comedy in general. A very refreshing change from in-you-face gross-out jokes and sophomoric scatalogical/sexual put-down gags that pass as "comedy" in so many films today. "Housesitter" just zips and zings along from one wild confrontation to another as the teetering house of lies constructed by Hawn (at first) and then Martin becomes ever-more unwieldy and incoherent. Dana Delany plays a prim, preppy "third wheel" character with aplomb and the finale is satisfying, funny, and endearing. Hugely entertaining and stands up tremendously well to repeated viewings!
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    31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Laura De Giorgio on December 6, 2004
    Format: DVD
    A charming comedy played superbly by Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn.

    Martin plays a decently successful architect and uses his talent to build a house for his high-school sweatheart. He is rather romantically inclined and presents her with this engagement gift wrapped in a big red ribbon. This scares away his high-school sweatheart as she interprets it as him being too imaginative and living in the fantasy-land than being a down-to-earth man, she'd prefer to be with.

    Heartbroken, he ends up in a Hungarian restaurant to wash away his woes and eventually pours out his heart to a waitress, played by Goldie Hawn, who doesn't stop a beat to take advantage of the situation. She is an adventurous free-spirit, endowed with wild imagination, who believes that life is to be experienced and she'll do whatever it takes to experience the richness of life.

    After spending one night with the architect, she promptly packs and unbeknonst to him, move into his newly built house. After all, why leave such a lovely house empty? She quickly gets acquainted with local people, charges everything to the architect's account and gets to meet even his parents, to him she presents herself as the architect's wife. As unique as she is - an acquired taste, as her make-believe inlaws would say, she has a very charming personality and everybody delights in her presence. Whatever the situation, she always has a ready answer, often backed with a wild and outrageous story.

    When Martin shows up at his newly-built house and finds her there, he is at first stunned, but figures that the only way to get out of it is by incorporating and continuing her make-believe stories and inventing that they are now getting divorced.
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    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mark Stewart on July 21, 2005
    Format: DVD
    Most of us know the story. I'm just going to add my favorate scenes and thoughts. Becky didn't deserve Newton. She turned his marriage proposal down because she did not see the value in his creativity and vision. We get a real sense of what Gwen is feeling the first time she sees the house. Imagine this: You are walking thru a brand new house that was custom designed by someone you know. No one has ever lived in it, and the person it was offered to has turned it down. Gwen thought the house was so beautiful that she sat out side of the house and stared at it in amazement! Although she initially didn't want Newton around because of her con, we know that she could see the value of the man. This is the focus of the story: not the house but the story of a woman recognizing the quailites of Newton.

    One of my favorite movies!
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    5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Monica B. Davis on March 14, 2007
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This is a charming, light, sweet screwball comedy, with an excellent ensemble cast all wonderful in their roles. Goldie Hawn beautifully plays a charming, off-beat con artist, whose pathological lying and skewed take on reality unwittingly lead her to bring about genuine love and kindness. Along the way, she reunites a family; sheds light on the old flame of her "victim" Steve Martin (exposing the motivations of the woman who broke his heart); and creates two new families -- proving that, in the movies at least, you may be able to make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

    The couple Goldie's character enlists to play her parents are delightful. So are the small-town characters and situations. Though the overall plot may be somewhat predictable, enough surprises are sprinkled throughout to make the film enjoyable watching, again and again. Heartwarming moments, and the lack of the modern age's gross-out techniques, are huge pluses, to this viewer. Fans of whimsical, somewhat innocent light comedy likely will enjoy this film.

    Steve and Goldie have great chemistry in "Housesitter." Their roles here lack the sometimes-shrillness that marred their later pairing in the remake of "The Out-Of-Towners" (a film which did have some funny moments, by Steve, Goldie, and the hilarious John Cleese). Well-written and well-acted subtlety make "Housesitter" a charming film to enjoy watching again over the years.

    Steve Martin's wonderful dancing and physical comedy skills are not used a lot in "Housesitter," but his great performance doesn't require them. In fact, this role allows him to demonstrate his skill in pathos and dramatic acting. (For a side-splittingly funny movie that showcases his excellence in dancing and physical comedy, there is the hilarious "All of Me," whose wonderful cast includes superb performances by Lily Tomlin, Jason Bernard, Richard Libertini, and Victoria Tennant.)
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