How to Beat the High Cost of Living

Watch How to Beat the High Cost of Living

"A hilarious new comedy for everyone who ever wanted to give the oil companies gas pains, turn off the power companies lights and make the banks stand in line for a change."
  • PG
  • 1980
  • 1 hr 45 min
  • 6.0  (1,977)
  • 30

In the summer of 1980, a witty female comedy was released under the title "How to Beat the High Cost of Living." Directed by Robert Scheerer, the movie was produced by Jane Curtin, along with Fred Freeman and Lawrence J. Cohen. The distinguished cast includes Susan Saint James (Jane), Jane Curtin (Louise), and Jessica Lange (Terry).

The story revolves around three housewives who decide to get even with life and fate after they encounter unexpected financial problems. Jane, Louise, and Terry are ordinary women with ordinary lives. Jane is a single mother who is struggling to make ends meet, while Louise is a middle-aged woman trying to keep her marriage from falling apart. Terry is a former beauty queen who lives with her wealthy but lifeless husband in a massive mansion.

One day, each of them discovers that they have been cheated by the same former college friend who sold them worthless real estate. Desperate for cash, they realize that they need to come up with a plan to get their money back. Jane comes up with a plan to rob a shopping mall in the city where the three of them live. The plan is to steal a large sum of cash during the opening weekend of a new shopping center.

Initially, the three of them are hesitant to go through with the plan, but Terry agrees to help them when she discovers that her husband is having an affair with another woman. Together, they form a team of unlikely criminals and set out to execute their plan. They learn the hard way that robbing a shopping center isn't as easy as it seems, and their mistakes put their already shaky friendship to the test.

The film depicts a rare female-centered narrative that had not been seen before in the film industry at the time. The clever humor and witty dialogue were well-received by audiences, and the performances of the cast members were praised by critics. The fashion and style of the late 1970s and early 1980s can be seen throughout the film, from Terry's bouffant hair to Louise's bellbottom pants. The soundtrack showcases the relaxing pop music of the era.

Despite the light-hearted plot, there exists an element of social commentary in the film. The three protagonists are introduced as characters who are unhappy and dissatisfied with their lives. They are economically vulnerable, and their personal setbacks (be it an extramarital affair, divorce, or single-parenthood) are not uncommon. Empowered by their friendship, they embark on a dangerous and illegal journey to get their due. The film speaks to the feeling of helplessness that people feel when they believe they have been wronged and have no other recourse but to take things into their own hands.

Overall, 'How to Beat the High Cost of Living' is an entertaining film, one that combines comedy, drama, and social commentary. Today, the film is remembered fondly by those who enjoyed it during its initial release and has a certain cultural significance in representing a particular era in filmmaking. Whether you're looking for a nostalgic period piece, a comedy, or a story about female empowerment, 'How to Beat the High Cost of Living' is worth watching.

How to Beat the High Cost of Living is a 1980 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0 and a MetaScore of 30.

How to Beat the High Cost of Living
Where to Watch How to Beat the High Cost of Living
How to Beat the High Cost of Living is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent How to Beat the High Cost of Living for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 45 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (1,977)
  • Metascore