A few favorites from the woefully underappreciated sub-genre, the moving movie.
Movers and Shakers: (1983, Comedy). This little gem was largely overlooked in the early-eighties spate of films in the Nice Guy as Unlikely Pimp subgenre (Night Shift, Risky Business). Through a series of mishaps, two naive moving company employees find themselves running a traveling brothel in the back of their moving truck. Starring Tom Hanks and Richard Moll, with Jamie Lee Curtis as the sexy and savvy madame with a knack for business and an eye for the gents. Soundtrack by Mark Mothersbaugh.
Move to Adjourn: (1986, Suspense). Jeff Bridges shines in this legal thriller as Steven Donner, a maverick D.A. seeking to free a wrongly convicted woman (Susan Sarandon) from Death Row. The evidence that will absolve her has been lost in a bureaucratic move, and Donner races the clock in a paper chase, his steps dogged by the real killer. Don’t miss Mary Stuart Masterson as his plucky paralegal!
Loose Screws: (1939, Classics). Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell exchange barbs and butterfly screws in this fast-paced romp from Howard Hawks. Sparks fly, literally and figuratively, when stockbroker Cliff Jenkins and his career-girl wife, Kate, move into a Brooklyn fixer-upper and find that the plumbing, the electrical system, the plaster, and the marriage all need some expert repair. Russell and Grant battle the chaos with wrenches, ratchets, and rapier-sharp wits in this, the screwiest of the screwball comedies.
The Underpants Situation: (1970, Suspense/Thriller/Mystery). Michael Caine, Richard Chamberlain, and Honor Blackman. In a world without shame, one woman makes a bid for modesty. Where have all the undergarments gone? Follow her increasingly harried search through boxes, packages, and overnight bags. Tagline: Three is not enough!
Kitch: (2005, Romantic Comedy). The irrepressible Will Smith stars as a home organizer whose bread and butter is helping others maximize their kitchen storage options. Ironically, his own kitchen is a mess! That is, until he meets a saucy sous-chef (Marisa Tomei) who sorts, slices, and dices her way into his kitchen… and his heart. Um, figuratively.
Hard Water: (2001, Made in Japan). Kiyoshi Kurasawa brings his eerie brand of atmospheric tension to the story of a young teacher (Harue Karasawa) who finds the pH of her new home’s water drives her hair into horrific disarray. No mass-market conditioner or pomade can tame her coiffure! Featuring Koji Yakusho as Kenji, the poker-faced beautician who races against time to save her locks… and her love.
The Gritty Dishes: (2002, Romantic Comedy). In this lighthearted moving comedy, Bill Pullman and Renee Zellweger discover to their consternation (and the audience’s charmed laughter) that their possessions, once unpacked, are at odds with the spaces of their new cupboards, cabinets, and closets! Compounding the comedy antics, everything’s covered with a fine grit, and their vacuum cleaner is no where to be found! Tagline: Nature abhors a vacuum!
Switch/On: (2005, Action/Adventure) The seemingly mild-mannered light switch by the front door should switch on the front-door light… but appearances can be deceiving. Featuring Alan Rickman as The Electrician, Bob Hoskins as Hardware Store Guy, and starring Ashton Kutcher (in the role he was born to play) as the spunky martial arts contender/electrician’s apprentice. Tagline: Switch-about is fair play.
Whiff: (1999, Japanese Exploitation). A faint, nearly undetectable lingering smell haunts the tenants a mysteriously vacated apartment in Tokyo’s largest block of flats. From the acclaimed director of Reek. Not for the squeamish. Tagline: “Do you smell that?”