The House

Rated 1.0

When their daughter loses a scholarship to her dream college, a suburban couple (Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler) are so desperate for money that they let their gambling-addict pal (Jason Mantzoukas) talk them into setting up an illicit casino in his house. The movie takes an idea with a slender thread of promise and does absolutely nothing with it, dissolving instead into unrelieved stupidity. Ferrell and Poehler could probably have ad-libbed better lines than the ones in Brendan O’Brien and director Andrew Jay Cohen’s brain-dead script—and they certainly could have written a better one. A cameo by Jeremy Renner might have been fun, but that, too, goes nowhere. As with many rotten comedies, the credits roll over outtakes showing us how much fun we missed by having to be in the theater instead of on the set. J.L.