Here's the premise: A married couple (Ferrell and Poehler) don't have the cash to send their daughter to the college of her dreams. In order to earn the money before the university bill is due, the pair decide to open up an underground casino. What could possibly go wrong? Hopefully everything, as that's where the hilarity is supposed to come in.
I can't be the only person wondering how the hell this movie (or, at the very least, the trailer) doesn't present some gaping plot holes. While financial aid doesn't come through for everyone — and it's not like we know the details of the family's money issues — I can't imagine why student loans would be completely off the table. Has the film not heard of the student debt crisis? It sucks to be beholden to loans for the next 20-plus years, but it's not like that's any more extreme than, I don't know, running an illegal casino that could ruin your life in a handful of unexpected ways.
The truth is, kids are told all the time that their parents don't have the money to send them to college. Usually, it's not because the parents blew their college fund on some wild purchase, but because college is insanely expensive, now more than ever. Could the teenage daughter maybe, I don't know, go to a community college for a year to save up for her dream school? Research some scholarships? Find a school that offers her a financial aid package that makes sense? These all seem like extremely reasonable solutions.
Of course, a trailer can only tell us so much about the movie. Perhaps there is a reason why Ferrell and Poehler's characters must go the criminal route to make ends meet. If not, these parents might need a life lesson on how things work in the real world.