The Money Pit

The 1986 comedy about a home remodeling effort gone wrong was filmed as Tom Hanks, well, became Tom Hanks. It’s the 80s and Tom was moving up the Hollywood ladder. Splash (1984). Bachelor Party (1984). The Man with One Red Shoe (1985). Big (1988). Turner and Hooch (1989). Now, that’s a career trajectory.

When I watch the Money Pit, I see an alternative universe where Sam Malone never plays baseball or buys Cheers. Instead, he goes to law school, marries Shelly Long, and buys the worst house imaginable. It had been years since I saw this movie.

Here were my takeaways:

  1. Every remodeling efforting, especially if contractors are involved, takes two weeks. This line in the movie never got old (probably, because there is some truth to it).
  2. Physical comedy works. The scene when he falls through the floor and gets stuck. It’s priceless. 
  3. It’s worth it to think about the long game in a relationship. 
  4. Remodeling stresses any couple. Yeah, I’ve been on the wrong end of a bad wallpaper project. 
  5. And everyone should get married with a full orchestra on hand. 

Sure, the movie is a bit dated and uneven at times (Rotten Tomatoes 47%), but still made me smile. That’s worth giving the picture a second view.


  • The housing market is booming; far easier to start fresh instead of fixing the old. But doesn’t each project have twists and turns? Always harder to finish than reach 80 percent.
  • In listening to a pop culture podcast, they debate how Tom is taking riskier bets in choosing roles. But is he? Experimentation and volume of work can often outweigh being known for selective choosing.