House of Yes

The House of Yes

4.5 4
Director: Mark S. Waters

Cast: Mark S. Waters, Parker Posey, Josh Hamilton, Tori Spelling


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A wealthy young man wants to wed a painfully ordinary girl, and a few hours with his family will convince anyone why he's doing so in this black comedy. Marty Pascal (Josh Hamilton) is engaged to marry Lesly (Tori Spelling), a dizzy blonde he met when she was working at a doughnut shop, and he bravely decides that it's time she met his family, so he brings her along


A wealthy young man wants to wed a painfully ordinary girl, and a few hours with his family will convince anyone why he's doing so in this black comedy. Marty Pascal (Josh Hamilton) is engaged to marry Lesly (Tori Spelling), a dizzy blonde he met when she was working at a doughnut shop, and he bravely decides that it's time she met his family, so he brings her along for Thanksgiving dinner at his mother's house in West Virginia. Bravery is necessary because the Pascals are not an especially healthy or wholesome family. Mother (Genevieve Bujold) explains her philosophy about parenting like so: "You raise cattle; children just happen." In this environment, where refusing your child anything is all but unknown, her youngest son Anthony (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) has grown up to be an overanxious virgin eager to seduce Lesly while Marty's not paying attention. And Marty's twin sister Jackie (Parker Posey), malignily obsessed with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, often re-enacts the murder of JFK using spaghetti sauce for blood (when she can't get ahold of real bullets) and enjoys incestuously seducing Marty (which hardly bothers Mother, who notes that "Jackie's hand was holding Marty's penis when they came out the womb"). The House of Yes was based on the play by Wendy MacLeod; first time director Mark S. Waters (brother of screenwriter Daniel Waters) also adapted the screenplay.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Although its arch banter occasionally falls flat and its claustrophobic production design leaves things a little bit stagebound, this adaptation of playwright Wendy MacLeod's The House of Yes works because of its richly layered script, its frequently hilarious dialogue, and its fine, if unexpected, casting decisions. In his feature debut, writer/director Mark S. Waters displays a deft hand with both brittle comedy and sharp psychological drama as he depicts the emotional and spiritual carnage of the decaying East Coast political gentry. Some audiences mistook the taboo-breaking plot as nothing more than indie titillation, but MacLeod's source material draws on the dramatic lineage of Noel Coward, Harold Pinter, Joe Orton, and Oscar Wilde -- not to mention The Rocky Horror Picture Show -- as it dissects an upper-crust dynasty's disaffection and permissiveness (check the title). The Pascal family belongs to the lower rungs of the Washington, D.C., social establishment, but its members proclaim their disdain for bourgeois values in deliciously tart aphorisms and epigrams. Indie darling Parker Posey plays the showiest role and therefore garnered the most critical attention, but it's actually Tori Spelling and Freddie Prinze Jr. whose performances prove the most surprising. Shrugging off their substance-free images, both young actors exercise subtlety and precision as their characters -- a wholesome "donut queen" and the kid brother of a pair of incestuous fraternal twins -- provide the vox populi to Posey and Genevieve Bujold's haughty entitlement. In a role that echoes Katharine Hepburn's in Suddenly Last Summer, Bujold is the epitome of regal wit and matriarchal ennui, but mention must be made of Josh Hamilton's equally dextrous prodigal son. The plot hinges on Marty's desire to escape his family's House of Usher-like degeneration, which makes it all the more wickedly pleasurable to watch him slide into old habits the minute he's exposed to the seductive familiarity of his twisted clan. Posey sometimes plays the spoiled, skewed Jackie-O a bit too broadly, but the minute Hamilton joins her onscreen, their characters start completing one another's sentences as only real-life twins (and lovers) truly could. In magnifying the maddeningly inextricable pull of the familial bond, House of Yes touches on truths more universal than its privileged setting might suggest.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Miramax Echo Bridge
Region Code:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Parker Posey Jackie-O
Josh Hamilton Marty
Tori Spelling Lesly
Freddie Prinze Anthony
Geneviève Bujold Mrs. Pascal
Rachael Leigh Cook Young Jackie-O
David Love Young Marty

Technical Credits
Mark S. Waters Director,Screenwriter
Michael Alperowitz Asst. Director
Robert Berger Executive Producer
Andrew Cahn Art Director
Marjorie Chodorov Production Designer
Daniel Curet Makeup
Jeffrey L. Davidson Co-producer
Jed M. Dodge Sound Editor
Debra Echard Set Decoration/Design
Beau Flynn Producer
Edi Giguere Costumes/Costume Designer
Rolfe Kent Score Composer
Melanie Lewison Costumes/Costume Designer
Pamela Martin Editor
Dan Monahan Sound Mixer
Dan Monahan Sound Mixer
Jason Rail Makeup
Jeff Rona Songwriter
David Sage Asst. Director
Ann Shea Set Decoration/Design
Patrick Sherman Production Designer
Scott Silver Executive Producer
Stefan Simchowitz Producer
Michael Spiller Cinematographer
Robert W. Vandling Sound Editor
Mary Vernieu Associate Producer,Casting
Ron Wechsler Co-producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter Selection
1. Program Start [6:34]
2. Window Taping [1:29]
3. Marty's Friend [:54]
4. Girl Talk [20:13]
5. Tormenting Lesly [5:03]
6. Lessons Pay Off [3:09]
7. Confessions [4:56]
8. We Have To Talk [10:52]
9. Dire Dramatization [8:24]
10. Just Payin' Attention [3:05]
11. "Good" Morning [4:36]
12. All The Facts [4:18]
13. Warmer! Colder! [1:09]
14. Tell Me About Sundays [3:26]
15. For Old Times' Sake [3:50]
16. End Credits [3:07]


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The House of Yes 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A dark comedy that surprises you with what seems to be an average cast, at best. Parker Posey's performance is absolutely stellar, in my opinion. If you can get past the disturbing factual event (JFK's assassination) and the incestuous relationship, it is a fantastically witty and darkly funny movie with an exceptional cast of characters.     
Guest More than 1 year ago
You need three movies to have your own essential Parker Posey film fest: Party Girl (much lighter in character, but fun all around), Waiting for Guffman (the absolute best bad musical ever), and this film, The House of Yes. Of the three, this is my personal favorite, though it is much darker in character and definitely not for everyone. The entire film takes place within the confines of a New England mansion adjacent to the Kennedy estate. Posey's character, Jackie (who is obsessed with her Kennedy namesake) is brilliantly witty, but dangerously disturbed. The viewer can decide whether Jackie's issues are the product of genuine mental illness or merely the result of having been raised (or not raised) by a mother (fabulously rendered by Genevieve Bujold) who has problems of her own. The rest of the film's five member cast is excellent as well. Some critics complained about the casting of Tori Spelling as Lesly, the cardboard cut-out fiancée of Marty (Jackie's older brother), but I think that Spelling admirably pulled off a difficult role: Lesly is maddeningly oblivious to the events around her and supremely naive to their implications for her planned marriage. Spelling couldn't have played this character without bringing her own intelligence to the part. Still, the movie is Posey's show, and absolutely no one could have done it better. First-time director Mark Waters wisely avoids straying far from the feeling of a play. The few flashbacks from Jackie's childhood (including a funny but plainly disturbing enactment of Jackie Kennedy's famous White House tour) are just enough to reel in the viewer seduced by Jackie's over-the-top ''mad'' wit. Many viewers will find the references to the Kennedys (including references to the JFK assassination) painful and difficult to bear. But the tragedy which unfolds in this film is the domain of the Pascal family alone, and viewers with a taste for films this intimate in scope will find this to be savagely witty, disarmingly dark, and strangely beautiful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jackie-O and Marty were meant for each other, especially if their mother has anything to do with it. This black comedy has it all: bed hopping, mental illness, and murder with the bonus of Parker Posey looking prim and proper in a pink Chanel suit with a little pill box hat ala Mrs. Jack Kennedy. The Pascal clan live shuttered lives in their MacLean, VA mansion (get the setting right people) ever envious and worshipful of their neighbors, America's royal family, the Kennedys. The plot and setting are very simple and stagey- you can see how it would fit better as the play. The characters are witty and wonderfully developed. Jackie O with her tantrums, and irratic behavior is definately twisted (perhaps more spoiled than sick), but given that Marty, her twin brother, is not only complicit in their incestous affair (and possibly instigated it when they were 13 yrs old- creepy home movie reel tacted on at end of film makes me wonder what really went on) but also is more than happy to fall back into line with his old family highjinks- ya gotta wonder how stable 'the normal one' of the family is. Anthony, the younger brother, and Lesley, the fiance, are the foils to JackieO and Marty- they're simple and naivee, but definately not dim. Anthony's shock at learning of his siblings' carnal relationship doesn't hinder his own lust when he tricks Lesley into bed. Lesley is actually a much more complex character than the other reviews would lead you to believe- she's a simple working class girl with ordinary wholesome values and she's in love with a sick and abused man (but doesn't know it yet). She doesn't outright reject Marty when she figures it out, instead she tries to save him. The most fiendish character is the Mother- always in the background, sees/hears it all, and passes off the family scandle with an elegant waive of the hand, and is feircely protective of Jackie. If you want a similar creepy, domineering mother role check out Manchurian Candidate. It's a great movie, for those with a keen sense of black humor and a hankering to see Parker Posey steal every scene in one of her best roles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is often said that the most tragic kind of love is that which is unrequited; The House of Yes proves this to be untrue. The most tragic kind of love is that which should not be in the first place; and is the sad situation in which Marty (Josh Hamilton) and his equally deranged sister Jackie-O (Parker Posey) find themselves. Marty and Jackie-O, brother and sister, have found the love of their lives in, of all people, each other. Marty, in his urge to ¿be normal, like other people¿, comes home from his self-imposed college exile with, of all things, a fiancée in tow. (Tori Spelling) This causes a downwards spiral of tragedy in the Pascal household's twisted, isolated world of easy indulgence. Supported by the surprisingly strong showings of Freddie Prinze Jr and Tori Spelling, Josh Hamilton and Parker Posey are exceptional, never letting the viewer lose sight of the fact that despite all the laughs, Marty and Jackie-O are deeply, and in the end tragically, head over heels in love. This movie is an underrated gem, the high and low moments are set off beautifully by Rolfe Kent¿s haunting score.