Lying For Laughs

TITLE: HOUSESITTER

DIRECTOR: FRANK OZ

WRITER: MARK STEIN

THE BOTTOM LINE: Mental rather than physical farce, but good summer fun once it gets rolling.

It begins slowly, because the filmmakers couldn't find a way to jump-start their comic premise. It ends with a conventional promise of happily-ever- aftering, even though its cute central psychopath remains entirely uncured. But in the middle, Housesitter develops an infectious and quite original giddiness: it may be the first movie ever to play congenital lying for laughs and more or less get away with it.

They meet morose. Davis (Steve Martin) is an architect unappreciated by...

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