Actors: Patrick Wilson, Kevin McKidd, James Belushi, Katherine Heigl, Jordana Brewster
Director: Anthony Burns
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Widescreen
Subtitles: English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Indonesian, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish, French
Dubbed: Spanish, French, Japanese, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Thai
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Studio: SONY PICTURES
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Run Time: 98 minutes
One of the saving graces for Home Sweet Hell may be the similarities the narrative shares with a far worse dark comedy recently released, Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife. If anything, Home Sweet Hell is middle-of-the road, passably entertaining without ever accomplishing anything slightly original or memorable. Dark comedies are meant to shock, but this one feels so derivative that the violence ends up merely feeling predictable.
The double-edged sword in the film’s arsenal is the casting. On one hand, Katherine Heigl is perfectly suited to play the role of a psychopathically controlling housewife with murderous rage, though this is only true because of the awful reputation the actress has developed for being impossible to work with on set. It is also clear that this low-budget release is a major step down from the actress’s typical studio rom-com fare, most likely because of that reputation. Still, there is no denying that Heigl comes out the other end of this production the least unscathed.
The other casting for the other half of the unhappy marriage is another story entirely, with Patrick Wilson trying his best at an exaggerated comedic approach to the spineless husband of Mona (Heigl). Car salesman turned into furniture store owner, Don Champagne (
owes much of his success to the monetary contribution of his father-in-law.
Even when business is going well, this is a fact that Mona constantly holds
over Don, keeping him in a state of constant emasculation. The tipping point
comes in the hiring of an attractive new sales associate named Dusty (Jordana
Brewster serves as little more than a prop in the film’s narrative, as she threatens to blackmail Don after they share a torrid affair behind Mona’s back. Sadly, this film is probably likely to get more viewers for the scene in which Brewster exposes her rear end than any acting she actually does. This is not nearly as shameful as the complete waste of supporting actor Jim Belushi, who blandly plays the furniture store’s sole other employee. If you are going to cast a comedic actor for support, here’s an idea: Let him be funny!
Humor is lacking from much of the film, despite every attempt from the leading man. Watching
attempt humor is
uncomfortable more than anything else. Although I give him credit for
committing to the role with the silliness of a screwball performer, it is quite
clear that Wilson
does not share the same abilities in this genre as he has displayed in dramatic
roles. In the end, good and bad casting alike all serve a screenplay from a
trio of writers that is ultimately unredeemable. Wilson
The Blu-ray release includes a handful of exclusive special features, all of which is additional footage in some manner. There are seven deleted scenes, an outtakes reel, and the Champagne Furniture Store commercial featured in the film. Also included in the extras are two additional deleted scenes and a generic making-of featurette.
Entertainment Value: 5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4.5/10
Historical Significance: 4/10
Special Features: 6/10