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Ladies of the House

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Ladies of the House (2008)

October. 18,2008
| Drama
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When three women are asked to refurbish a house for their church, they find that they must break down their own self-perception in order to build something together. Birdie (Pam Grier) can't get along with her husband, Rose (Florence Henderson) doesn't want to do anything without her husband, and Elizabeth (Donna Mills) has everything she wants, but nothing to call her own. Filled with heart, humor and hammers, Ladies of the House follows three women who find out that their construction project will mend each of their personal lives in ways they never expected.


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Absolutely the worst movie.


A waste of 90 minutes of my life

Adeel Hail

Unshakable, witty and deeply felt, the film will be paying emotional dividends for a long, long time.


The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.


A typical film dealing with 3 women working on the fixing up of a house left by a church member, so that they can sell the house and provide for needy children,really blossoms out. We soon find out that this work really serves as therapy for these women to combat one whose husband has been stricken with a fatal form of cancer, another whose wealthy husband has been cheating on her with his secretary, and the third whose husband has retired and she now feels that their marriage is faltering.Florence Henderson does a beautiful job as the widow and is equally matched by Donna Mills, the wife of the cheater, who comes down to earth and sees the true value of life by doing this work for their church.The film deals with the fulfillment of life by working for an admirable goal. It succeeds here.


Pam Grier, Florence Henderson and Donna Mills may draw viewers into this story centering around three congregation members who volunteer to support their church's day-care fund, by renovating a dilapidated property owned by their fellowship, while learning of concerns within their respective marriages.Any comic relief runs cliché, as the ladies of the house know little, if anything, of carpentry, wiring or plumbing. While they insist upon no assistance from others, they rely upon the hardware store clerk for advice upon nails and things, and Pam takes a crash course in plumbing. Their minister is on hand to take calls, but does little in the way of acting or helping the story to advance in any way, shape or form, indicating that this is probably not the closest of fellowships, adding the fact that these three close friends know little about one another's secrets, if at all their own.Richard Roundtree, Lance Henriksen and Gordon Thomson play the respective husbands of Miss Grier, Miss Henderson and Miss Mills. Hallmark productions require very little of the actor's talents save setting the stage for the actress to emote.One may eagerly anticipate Richard's sizzling with Pam, Gordon's heating the screen with Donna, and Lance's encouraging Florence's comic relief, but these relationships suddenly hit the snags for one reason or another even though, Pam, no one else would feel exactly bored coming home to Richard Roundtree.But Pam keeps apologizing to Richard for spending too much time fixing up the house for charity, without addressing exactly what the problem is between them. Florence and Lance launch into their very downbeat subplot involving terminal illness. And Donna questions her tolerating her wealthy Gordon's cheating on his mistress with his secretary, as Gordon Thomson characters very often do.Add to the mix a "neighborhood watchdog," who spends his days lounging upon the tailgate of his pickup directly across the street from the charity residence. While the three ladies feel protected by his endeavors, he loses his cool with Donna for an innocent remark on her part, but confides to Pam that he comes from a family of dentists and did not want to go into the practice after college. Instead, he works nights to stand guard all day. And, oh yes, he's a "responsible" single father, who neglects the baby inside his place all day and all night, while he provides, pretty much the same way in which the ladies neglect their marriages.Even though this screen story is greatly out of touch with these extremely difficult times of repossessions and poverty, the ladies continue to refurbish, before returning to their own opulent residences and shattering marriages. But their husbands continuously encourage these wives to carry on with their solo project, while each secretly enlists assistance from everyone except her husband.One evening when Pam's character decides to shop at the hardware store, Richard asks her where she's heading. "To shop for supplies," she explains, causing him to accompany her, to scrutinize her activities. What he learns is that she actually drives to the hardware store to shop for supplies. The script very often walks away from potential excitement in a series of choppy scenes, as this.This production may cause a viewer to reassess the notion of "average." On one hand, one may wonder why Pam Grier, Florence Henderson, Donna Mills or Richard Roundtree would sign onto an otherwise bland project as "Ladies of the House." But, on the other hand, they raise it to new levels, by possibly making this the first Hallmark production which viewers actually watch all the way through--if only to anticipate its stars reverting to their famously customary characters, as Gordon certainly does.By comparison to other productions of its kind, a new definition of average springs to mind, and "Ladies of the House" rises above the norm to become salvaged by its star power.


My family loved the movie. It was funny to start with, then as the plot developed, some serious issues were revealed. The acting was great. The thing I liked best about the movie, was that it was geared to issues middle aged and older people face at that time of life. The actresses were fun to watch as they fixed up the house. The parts at the hardware store were especially funny. The three woman evolved through the movie, and by the end they were a support system for each other. They seemed as though they would make the best of their life situations, no matter what they faced. I could relate to some of the issues the women were dealing with. I plan to watch it again.


but the reconstruction of the house was completely inane. Three women who didn't already have access to screwdrivers and knew nothing about nails are supposed to rehab a home as a fund-raising project, and it didn't occur to them to ask for help from anyone? Didn't time mean anything to them? Did anyone else think this was a worthy project? We didn't see them work much after pulling out a cabinet and framing a short wall, but at the end the home was beautiful and we learned the entire plumbing system had been redone on a home which should have needed nothing more than new fixtures. Yes, it was a metaphor, and they "grew" from the experience; I grew cranky, did some fast-forwarding, and I'm a woman. It gives "chick-flick" a bad name.