4-Movie Laugh Pack: The Jerk/Housesitter/Parenthood/The Lonely Guy [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Housesitter
In this romantic comedy from director Frank Oz, Steve Martin plays Boston architect Newton Davis, an impulsive dreamer who builds a bucolic dream home for his girlfriend (Dana Delany) as a means of proposing to her -- only she turns him down. Three months later, the depressed Davis meets a waitress who calls herself Gwen (Goldie Hawn), though pretending to be Hungarian proves to be only the first of her many deceptions. Davis has a one-night stand with Gwen during which he tells her the sad story of the house, which remains unoccupied just outside the city in his hometown of Dobbs Mills, because he can't bear to sell it. Following what seems to be a familiar path for this con artist, Gwen locates the house, figuring she can take up residence without anyone noticing. During a trip to the local grocery, she ends up telling the proprietor she's Davis' wife while trying to charge her purchases to his account. When she offers the same story to a local furniture dealer (Donald Moffat), unaware he's Davis' father, it triggers a string of fabrications in which the shocked Davis unwittingly becomes a co-conspirator. Seeing an opportunity of his own, Davis allows Gwen to stay in the house and agrees to go along with her story in hopes of winning back his jealous ex. Of course, this also necessitates outlandish lie upon outlandish lie, leaving the whole enterprise forever on the verge of collapse. ~ Derek Armstrong, Rovi

Parenthood
This feel-good ensemble comedy tracks a quartet of suburban siblings and their families over the course of a single summer. Hardworking Gil Buckman (Steve Martin) and his stay-at-home wife, Karen (Mary Steeenburgen), have just a few months to help their oldest son, Kevin (Jasen Fisher), overcome his high-strung behavior problems before he'll be relegated to special-education classes. Gil's difficult relationship with his own father, Frank (Jason Robards), has led him to become a would-be super-dad for his three kids, so he takes his son's difficulties more than a little personally. Gil's sister, Helen (Dianne Wiest), is trying to raise a moody, adolescent son (Leaf Phoenix) and an independent-minded daughter (Martha Plimpton) with no help from her well-off ex-husband, who's more interested in his new wife and family. Gil and Helen's sister, Susan (Harley Jane Kozak), meanwhile, must participate in the too-scripted Big Life Plans of her anal-retentive husband, Nathan (Rick Moranis), whose overachiever zeal infects even their toddler daughter. When long-lost brother Larry (Tom Hulce) show up with yet another get-rich-quick scheme, he brings with him a surprise addition to the family. Screenwriters Babaloo Mandel, Lowell Ganz, and Ron Howard negotiate their varied subplots with a deftness and comedic touch that transforms this conflicted clan into a suburban everyfamily. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

The Lonely Guy
In a comedy as flat as the cardboard cut-outs of movie stars that appear in one scene, Steve Martin plays Larry Hubbard, a wild and lonely guy who has been dumped by his girlfriend. Since misery loves company, he takes up with Warren, a fellow Lonely Guy (Charles Grodin), and eventually both Warren and Larry find some surprising companions, especially after Larry writes a best-selling Lonely Guy Guide. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

The Jerk
Carl Reiner directs Steve Martin (who co-wrote the script with Carl Gottlieb) in this gag-laden comedy about an idiotic white man, raised by a poor family of black sharecroppers, who doesn't realize he's not black. Navin R. Johnson (Steve Martin) is told the horrible truth when he finds himself instinctively tapping his feet to an easy listening tune on the radio, instead of a low-down blues. His mother (Mabel King) tells him he's white and Navin takes to the road (in a World War II bomber helmet and goggles) to start a new life in St. Louis. A filling station owner, Harry Hartounian (Jackie Mason), give Navin his first break, hiring him to pump gas. One day at the station, Navin has a brainstorm, concocting an invention called "The Opti-grab," a combination handle and nose-brace for eyeglasses. But Navin runs into trouble when a crazed killer (M. Emmet Walsh) picks out his name at random from the telephone book and tries to kill him. Navin escapes to a traveling carnival, where he wrangles a job as the "guess-your-weight" man. At the carnival, he discovers his sexual nature, thanks to stunt rider and S&M enthusiast Patty Bernstein (Catlin Adams). But Navin meets the beautiful Marie (Bernadette Peters) and he quickly falls in love. In the meantime, the "Opti-grab" has taken off and soon Navin is a millionaire. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Steve Martin
    Steve Martin - Newton Davis
  • Goldie Hawn
    Goldie Hawn - Gwen
  • Dana Delany
    Dana Delany - Becky
  • Julie Harris
    Julie Harris - Edna Davis
  • Donald Moffat
    Donald Moffat - George Davis
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