Jen Kirchhoefer


“You broke into the wrong house,” was the one good line from the movie I spent 1 hour and 28 minutes sitting through last weekend. Time I will never get back. It’s not a total loss, however, because I did go with two of my sisters, so I’m counting it as sister bonding time, while viewing a movie about a mother’s revenge.

As film reviews go, "Breaking In" gained half a star for the good one-liner at the end, which I have already quoted. But I’m not the critic, so I don’t get to determine the star value. I will, however, issue a spoiler alert. If you have not seen the movie yet and still plan to see it, skip a bit and move on down the page to the punchline. Although, this movie is so predictable I don’t know how anyone could NOT know what happens next. There are no surprises.

To summarize: The main character’s wealthy father, who happens to be the target of an open investigation, has just been killed (deliberately). She then must immediately pack up her two kids and drive out to the mansion where she will meet the Realtor and proceed to settle the estate. Her husband, conveniently stuck at work, wishes he could go but can’t get away. The movie wastes no time introducing the four bad guys who invade the house looking for the millions of dollars her father had hidden in a safe. They tie up the kids while the mom is outside and then the rest of the movie is a series of weapon wielding violence with a dash of carnage distributed throughout.

The first hang up I had — a definitive hole in the “plot,” if you will — was the abrupt rush of the main character (Shawn) to put her father’s (Isaac) house on the market. Seriously folks ... if Isaac was under investigation, upon his death, his assets would be frozen, and the estate could not be settled until a resolution of some sort was found. If the list agent had done her research, she would know that this listing was not going to come to fruition any time soon; and even then, if proceeds from the sale of this asset were determined to go elsewhere, then the family may not even get to pick the Realtor. It may go to an asset manager, who then has a pool of their own agents to pick from. Not to mention, the selling of the home is only a small step in the “settlement” of the entire estate. Poor Shawn has no idea how much work she has ahead of her.

From my experience, past clients who have been executors of their parents’ estates have shared with me what a demanding job it is. Full-time, in fact. The act of valuing assets, resolving disputes, determining distribution, paying final bills and taxes, closing accounts, selling assets, etc., is a daunting and stressful task, especially while still trying to mourn the loss of one or both parents.

Fortunately, in this movie, the relationship between daughter and father had long been estranged, so the mourning part was not relevant. Either way, it bothered me.

We fast forward to the part where the Realtor shows up to get the listing paperwork signed. She must have had a busy day because it looks to be about 11 p.m. She could have sent it over via Docusign or DotLoop, but maybe there was no internet service up there. She gets out of her car, fixes her sweater, and goes to the door, where she is met by a strange man she doesn’t recognize who tells her that Shawn is running an errand and will be right back. Really? At 11 at night? And Shawn’s car is still there? She senses something is wrong and then calls 911, right in front of the bad guys who proceed to execute her. The Realtor is out of the story.

That’s where they lost me. This Realtor blew it. I sat there for the entire rest of the movie thinking about what I would have done if it were me. I have some ideas, but you, my reader, will have to wait for the movie.

Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at or 801-645-2134.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!