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HouseSitter Review

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When his longtime sweetheart turns down his marriage proposal architect Newton drowns his sorrows by falling into the arms of coniving waitress Gwen. He soon discovers she has taken over his house and told everyone they are married.

★★★★★

Surprisingly, having been The Headlining Star for so long, Steve Martin is relegated here to gobsmacked, agitated second banana while Goldie Hawn gets to play wild and crazy and cute in this ho-hum bit of hooey.

Martin is architect Newton Davis who's built a dream house, only to have it sit empty when the woman of his dreams (Dana Delany) refuses to marry him. Smothering his torch with liquid refreshment, he spends the night with free spirited waitress Gwen (Hawn), sneaking off before daylight. Gwen is not entirely the sweet kook she seemed to be, however, and since he mentioned his house, she checks it out and moves in. For reasons far from clear, this conniving cookie persuades the oblivious Newton's parents, colleagues and erstwhile sweetheart that she's his wife, running up a large tab to decorate the place in dubious taste, with Newton eventually rumbling her game and implausibly going along with the charade for his own ends as the twosome get tangled up in a not-particularly riotous or romantic comedy of deceptions, bluffs and talk-your-way-out-of-this-one situations.

All along, of course, we are supposed to realise they're made for each other, except that that's a little hard to swallow when there's so little chemistry between them, and they're both a little too old for this sort of nonsense anyway. To add to the woe, Frank Oz's uninspired direction also weighs down what is obviously intended as a piece of fluff, with the result that this should be approached only in an eager-to-be-pleased, feeling-entirely-undemanding kind of a mood.

All along, of course, we are supposed to realise they're made for each other, except that that's a little hard to swallow when there's so little chemistry between them.

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