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Film / Man of the House

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"This is my happy face!"
Roland Sharp

A 2005 action/comedy film centered around a group of very hot and bubbly University of Texas cheerleaders who inadvertently witness a murder in connection with the shooting of a Texas Ranger. The danger of their situation makes their protection the responsibility of gruff, by-the-book Ranger Roland Sharp, played by Tommy Lee Jones. As a cover for his detail, he moves into the group's sorority house under the guise of being their cheerleading coach. Hilarity Ensues.

Not to be confused with the 1995 Disney family comedy/drama Man of the House, starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Chevy Chase, or The '70s Brit Com Man About the House.

This film provides examples of:

  • Academic Athlete: Anne is a pre-med student who is also a cheerleader and probably cares more about her classes than her four house mates combined.
  • Advertised Extra: An egregious example in terms of Cedric the Entertainer as Percy was heavily featured in TV promos, implying that he had a bigger role in the film than he actually does. The promos made it seem as if Sharp and Percy were working together to protect the girls.
  • The Atoner: Heather, who knows how to hotwire a car, tells Sharp that she views cheerleading as a way to make up for her past rather than as a fun pastime or social status tool.
  • Badass Adorable: The girls by the end, when they help capture the villain while maintaining their peppy attitudes and nervousness about the situation.
  • Bare Midriffs Are Feminine: Among the cheerleaders' fashion proccupations is how "Navel visibility must be maintained."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After starting up the new air conditioner, a blink and miss by Mr. Sharp.
  • Beta Couple: Contemplating the vastness of the universe.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: One cheerleader at one point asks "couldn't you just shoot the gun out of the bad guy's hand?" to which Sharp explains that it doesn't work. Near the end of the movie, it does. As he did not intend to do that, Sharp was more impressed than anybody else who saw it.
  • Brick Joke: Jimmy the drug dealer who introduces himself and, who then "moves" out to jail by the time one of his customers comes by looking for him.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Played straight in true Tommy Lee Fashion.
    Sharp: One thing you'll learn about me is I do not kid, or jest, or joke, or jape, or quip.
  • Class Princess: Head cheerleader Anne has a lot of school spirit and says that they have a sense of responsibility to be role models for the community by being cooperating witnesses in Ranger Sharp's investigation. She does act like a Bratty Teenage Daughter around Sharp at first, but this is mainly in response to how stern and unreasonable he comes across in controlling the lives of his bodyguard charges.
  • The Comically Serious: It's Tommy Lee Jones, in his usual stone-faced self, surrounded by cheerleaders. Of course this translates to comedy gold!
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The five girls want to go to party. Sharp thinks they will not. Then they go to party, where we see another, much more traditional Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sharp needs only one witness. But Evie has her moments too.
  • December–December Romance: Not so December, but compared to the girls, it looks like that.
  • Dirty Cop: Getting winged in the arm by a conveniently unseen shooter during a hot pursuit is kind of a red-flag, but Agent Eddie Zane is revealed to be this shortly thereafter. Capt. Nichols seems to be appropriately suspicious, evading his requests for information on the witnesses and asking him pointedly, "How's the arm?"
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Sharp divorced his wife six years ago and even before then had trouble making time for his daughter.
    • Heather's dad ran out on her family a long time ago.
  • Dumb Blonde: Barb starts like one, but it's averted by the end.
  • Earpiece Conversation: The date with Molly.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Ranger Riggs keeps eyeing the girls when they first come to the house and repeatedly thanking Sharp for picking him to come on the protection detail past the point of annoyance.
  • Fanservice: What do we expect from five cheerleaders?
  • Intimate Telecommunications: One of Sharp's first clashes with his bodyguard charges comes when Teresa wants to accept a phone sex call from her boyfriend.
  • May–December Romance: Attempted by Barb.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Again, Percy’s importance to the film is greatly exaggerated, almost to the point of false advertising.
  • Papa Wolf: Sharp. Specially when one of the girls is almost killed, and then his actual daughter is kidnapped...
  • Pom-Pom Girl: The five cheerleaders who witness a murder and require police protection are (initially) shallow but are generally warm-hearted and take cheerleading very seriously.
    Anne: As captain of the squad, it is my duty to inform you that if you wanna stop us from cheerleading, you're gonna have to pry the pom-poms from our cold dead hands.
  • Put on a Bus: Texas Ranger Swanson is wounded in the shootout early on and spends most of the remaining movie in the hospital.
  • Real Men Cook: After Sharp voices his dislike against the clothes, the underwear, the music, everything the girls do, nobody bats an eye when he cooks up a nice dinner.
  • Real-Person Cameo: This was the film debut for Governor Rick Perry, playing himself as the Governor of Texas.
  • Really Gets Around: Heavily implied with Barb. While talking across the campus, in less than a minute, Barb exchanges flirtatious greetings with three different boys she's implied to have had sex with.
  • Reformed Criminal: And he became a priest! But kept some bad friends.
  • Run for the Border: Deconstructed. Zane attempts to flee to Mexico, only for the border guards to draw their guns on him before Sharp arrests him. Turns out that it is a bad idea to try and cross at an actual border crossing with the authorities in hot pursuit.
  • Spicy Latina: Teresa is arguably the most sexually active of the girls and the one who chafes under Sharp the most. She often swears in Spanish, and mocks an Abhorrent Admirer in a bar before delivering a Groin Attack when he gets rough.
  • Token Minority: Teresa (Paula Garcés) fills the role of the token Latina character, and Anne (Christina Milian) is the token African-American character.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Exaggerated when Eddie Zane shoots himself in the arm as a cover up for the sniper who inadvertently shot a Texas ranger.