is a movie by Feature Films For Families
. It's about two families and Ernie Barrett (Dave Thomas), owner and CEO of Barrett's Natural Soda. Alan Walters and his mother, Vicky (Mary Page Keller), live next door to the Thomases, George (Richard Karn), a widower and his daughters, JJ and Delia.
Alan enters both families in a contest sponsored by Barrett's Natural Soda. When they do become the finalists they have to join their families together in order to win the grand prize by pretending to be the perfect family. And the problems just keep coming after that.Not to be confused
with a 1997 romantic comedy of the same name starring Jennifer Aniston
, Jay Mohr, and Kevin Bacon
Tropes in the film
- Acting Unnatural: It's actually amazing that Ernie did notice how unnatural the family was acting most of the time.
- Amateur Sleuth: Eve Scrimmer, boy is she ever. Trying to get the inside scoop on people by peeping through hedges.
- A Simple Plan
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
- Bad Liar: The whole family's not very good at it, but the kids did do a good job with their letter so?
- Blatant Lies: Lot's of that going around.
- Becoming the Mask: After a while George and Vicky realize that they actually do love each other and get married.
- Bluff the Impostor: What Alan does to the fake FBI guy's
- Butt Monkey: George Thomas. He has had to face a few blows and misfortunes, but he mostly is from the way he's treated, and how he is always the victim to having to do all the hedge trimming. Amanda also is at the restaurant during the double date fiasco.
- But I Play One on TV: George tries using this in a joke to Ernie about being a doctor, Vicky isn't very amused.
- Cassandra Truth: George's boss and Mss Scrimmer were at least right about the two groups not being a family.
- Cool Old Guy: Ernie Barrett.
- Cover Identity Anomaly
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Yep. Ms. Scrimmer.
- Diabolical Mastermind: The mastermind brains behind the whole plot is Alan, with some of the help of his friend, J.J.
- While the second scheme was not so much what you would say diabolical, the first scheme was the most diabolical one because it involved an attempt of Alan and his friend trying to wreck his mother's relationship with her boyfriend, Bob.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Every lie just makes the hole that much bigger.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: George is okay around Mrs. Walters after she had him in a strangle hold. Admittedly she thought he'd done something to her daughter and grandson, so he might have just chalked that up to her being a Mama Bear.
- The Ghost: Poor Rusty! (The kids invented a dog for the photograph to make the "family" seem more perfect. Since the dog never existed, they have to keep mourning his death once Ernie shows up.)
- Grey and Gray Morality
- Guile Hero: Alan.
- Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: A lot of that's going around too.
- Hilarity Ensues: Everyone trying to setup the house to make Ernie think both families live in it.
- Medical Technobabble: Ernie's (fictional) 'Schizoid-detritus-melanomus'.
- Nosy Neighbor: Mss Scrimmer.
- Outright Lie: "Listen! Ernie has schizoid-detritus-melanomus! When he gets depressed, he turns violent. So it's critical we keep him happy!"
- Secret Chaser: Again, Mss Scrimmer. She must have a lot of time on her hands.
- "Shut Up" Kiss
- Those Two Bad Guys: The two FBI agents who start threatning Alan. Subverted, turns out there just a couple of idiots from a rival soda company. Making them nothing more than Those Two Guys.
- Zany Scheme: What else would you call it?