By Owen Gleiberman
Updated October 17, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

With her put-on personality, her supercilious camp-aristocratic hauteur, Parker Posey may never have a role that suits her as perfectly as that of Jackie-O, the demented sister in The House of Yes. Jackie-O is obsessed with Jackie Kennedy — in fact, she sometimes thinks she is Jackie Kennedy, or at least Jackie on the day of the JFK assassination, an event she has gotten cross-wired with her parents’ divorce. Roaming the family mansion, she fires verbal bullets (and, on occasion, real ones) at anyone who gets in the way of her dreams. ”I’ve been over the edge,” she says with matter-of-fact aplomb. ”Now I’m back!” More than ever, you’re aware of the glittering bitch-chic allure of Posey’s presence — the white skin and topsy-turvy smile set off by a ravishing come-hither gleam. Jackie-O is nuts, all right, but she has style.

The House of Yes is as exuberantly whacked as she is. Directed and adapted by Mark Waters, from Wendy Macleod’s stage play, it’s another dysfunctional-family-at-Thanksgiving movie, only this one suggests The Old Dark House reconceived by a Tennessee Williams junkie who is somehow laboring under the notion that Williams’ plays are comedies. Jackie-O’s twin, Marty (Josh Hamilton), arrives with his fiancée, a doughnut-shop waitress (Tori Spelling), and we get to see how close brother and sister really are. The House of Yes is knowingly overripe, a kitsch melodrama that dares to make incest sexy. In a scene of glorious perversity, Jackie-O and Marty reconsummate their love by staging it as the assassination of you-know-who. It’s a measure of what highly watchable trash The House of Yes is that the film merges these twin American nightmares without so much as ruffling Parker Posey’s hair. B

The House of Yes

  • Movie
  • R
  • Mark S. Waters