Houseguest is a 1995 comedy starring Sinbad and Phil Hartman
(in his only leading role).
The basic premise of the film is this: Kevin Franklin
(Sinbad), an unsuccessful 35-year-old man in living in Pittsburgh
, tries to pull of a get-rich-quick scheme, using borrowed money from the mob to do so. Like all his other plans, it flops, so he tries to run for it when the mobsters come back for him. They catch up with him at the airport, whereupon he hears a man talking to his kids. The man, Gary Young
(Hartman), is waiting for his childhood friend Derek Bond
, to visit him for the first time in 25 years. Young remarks that he doesn't know what Bond looks like now, except that he's black and in his thirties. Naturally, Franklin decides to pose as Bond and ends up spending a long weekend with them as their houseguest. All the while, he's trying to avoid the dim-witted mobsters sent after him while trying figure out exactly who he's supposed to be an impostor of in the first place. Hilarity Ensues
, as you've probably guessed.
- The Alleged Car: Kevin at the beginning of the movie. He gets a nicer one at the end.
- Butt Monkey: Bond. Sure, he's kind of a jerk, but all he wanted to do was visit his childhood friend. And yet in his ten minutes of screen time, he gets beaten up, kidnapped, and called ugly.
- Dissimile: Kevin compares himself to Poseidon at once point. Larry responds that Poseidon is exactly like Kevin except that "he's white, he's Greek, and he's a god".
- Drives Like Crazy: A lot of characters, but Kevin's terrible driving skills deserve special mention.
- The Family for the Whole Family: Could the mobsters possibly be any stupider? Even the mob boss calls them out on their incompetence after they repeatedly fail to capture Franklin.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kevin starts the movie caring only about himself and what he wants, but after his time with the Youngs learns The Power of Friendship.
- Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Gary's boss, who at first just seems arrogant, but then is quickly revealed to have almost no morals (eg trying to get Gary to spy on his own wife's yogurt business to figure out how to destroy it)
- Old Friend: Bond to Young. Odd in that though he thinks the trope is played straight (childhood friend comes to visit and turns life upside down), Bond only has a small part. The rest of it was just Franklin.
- Product Placement: McDonalds paid to be in the movie as Kevin's favorite place to eat (which causes issues when he finds out that Bond is a strict vegetarian). Since there's not a McDonalds in Sewickely, PA (where the movie is set), they actually dressed up a bagel shop as one just for this movie.
- Running Gag: Kevin can't park to save his life. Even at the end of the movie when he becomes rich and drives a nice car, he still can't park it without pushing aside adjacent cars.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: Not gambling per se, but Kevin's debt to the mob is what drives the plot.
- Two First Names: Kevin Franklin.