I like Drew Barrymore, but if I have to watch her in one more loser Romantic/drama, I will disavow my lust for her, serious. Whatever happened to the tough girl movies like Bad Girls (1994), Boys on the Side (1995), or Charlies Angels (2000)? Lately it seems like she has starred in one ho-hum man-finds-woman, man losses-woman-woman stupidly goes-back-to-man, dud after another. The latest is Lucky You (2007) in which she co-stars with Eric Bana (Black Hawk Down, Troy, Munich); this is clearly the most boring movie I have had the displeasure of watching in quite some time. There is less about love and romance and more about Poker, and Ms. Barrymores scenes are few and far between! BORING!
Directed and co-written by Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, The Bedroom Window, 8 Mile) Lucky You is (mostly) about gambling and takes place, where else, Las Vegas. Here we find on Huck Cheever (Bana) a professional poker player, no really, apparently there is such a profession(?). Huck is good but he seems to have a hard time winning on a consistent basis, a malady brought on by some unspecified emotional baggage courtesy of this father L.C. Cheever (Robert Duvall The F.B.I., The Great Santini, Thank You For Smoking) who also wears the job title professional poker player. But Huck wants desperately to play in the Poker World Series, but he lacks the cash, so he sets about various means of getting it.
In the meantime Huck meets Billie Offer (Barrymore) an aspiring lounge singer who just moved to Las Vegas and is living with her sister Suzanne (Debra Messing Will & Grace, The Starter Wife) who warned her off Huck. But despite the warnings of course she becomes enamored of the compulsive gambler with no furniture in his house, no real future to speak of, and steals from her to gamble. After Huck steals $1200.00 from Billie she swears off him, only to be wooded back by a simple Im sorry. Pathetic, but I digress.
Lucky You isnt particularly adept at telling an interesting story. The movie started out on a promising note with Huck (did I mention that Bana is woefully miscast in this part?) trying to convince a pawn broker to buy a digital camera (we later learn it was stolen) for more than she is willing to part with. The dialog was smart, snappy, and interesting; unfortunately the movie quickly goes downhill from there.
The script for Lucky You is far too formulaic: from the compulsive gambling to the way in which Huck insinuates himself into Billie/Barrymores life. There was nothing remotely interesting about any of it. And Bana and Barrymore lacked chemistry, their one love scene was a yawn, and their relationship took far too many predictable turns. The one upside: Barrymore looks like a doll in dresses.
The poker scenes while somewhat informative are like watching grass grow during a drought. There was too little information on the game itself to make the proceeding worth watching or otherwise paid attention to. If you are a poke neophyte like me, Lucky You will do nothing to broaden your understanding of the game, other than the fact that there is a lot of money involved.
Lucky You never seems to make up its mind whether it wants to be an intelligent romantic/drama/comedy, and emotion father-son drama, or a case study in gambling addiction. As a result the movie drifts without a center, and the supposedly dramatic moments never range true and the emotional climax was decidedly unsatisfying on many levels.
Supporting cast includes Robert Downy Jr., Jean Smart, and Charles Martin Smith.
With far, far too much emphasis on poker and not enough on characters and the stuff of human discourse, Lucky You is one of those movies that should have gone straight to DVD, or should never been made at all.
Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: None of the Above
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older
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