If HGTV made its own horror movies, they’d look something like this comically presented nightmare.
Parker Posey and Eric McCormack are note-perfect as an artsy urbanite and her all-business husband whose marriage gets stuffed into a pressure cooker when they attempt to build their dream home on the coastline near Seattle. The heat goes up when they hire a pretentious Englishman (Orphan Black’s James Frain) who alternately preys on their weaknesses and flatters them into tackling an ever-more-expensive monument to modernity. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House covered similar territory, but that 1948 classic was careful to balance Cary Grant’s sensible conservatism with Irene Dunne’s homey intuition. Here, writer-director Jonathan Parker’s sharply written script makes McCormack too much of a materialistic stick-in-the-mud, dampening our investment in the couple’s emotional real estate.