‘Home Fries’ (1998) Review

A very pregnant Sally would like for her married boyfriend to do the right thing and tell his wife about them but he doesn’t seem too eager. One evening he’s literally scared to death by his stepsons, Dorian and Angus, in a National Guard helicopter. When they realize Sally and her co-workers may have overheard the murder on their work headsets, Dorian takes a job at the burger joint to find out what Sally knows, but soon falls for her himself

I worked at a movie theater when this film was released but I never got around to watching it, which is odd because I really adore Drew Barrymore. But it’s currently available to stream on HBO Max, so I thought…why not? And then after the movie ended I thought… why.

Okay, so it’s not a terrible movie, but it was written by Vince Gilligan (The X-Files, Breaking Bad) so I really expected more than what it was. Clearly, it’s meant to be a dark comedy but it never fully commits to the darkness. There is also a distinct lack of character development so it’s difficult to really care about what happens to them.

I will say that the cast is pretty dang good and is really the only reason I didn’t hate it. Barrymore is earnest and affable as the pregnant Sally and Luke Wilson is very likable as Dorian, the only member of his family with a conscience. Jake Busey plays Dorian’s brother, Angus… a young man with violent mommy issues and that mommy just happens to be Catherine O’Hara, who quite simply, is magnificent in everything she does. Shelley Duvall shows up as Sally’s mother, but sadly, I feel as though she should have had more to do than deal with her alcoholic husband.

Maybe that’s why Home Fries was so disappointing. It completely wastes its talent. It’s tonally confused and not as funny as it really should be, considering the subject matter. The romance between Sally and Dorian never fully takes off either, which is a shame, because Barrymore and Wilson have lovely chemistry on-screen.

After the movie ended, I was just left thinking about what the point was. What kind of movie was Home Fries supposed to be? Dark comedies can be amazing. Dark romantic comedies? Yes, please… give me more of them! But sadly, Home Fries just missed the mark completely.

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."