Iím a pretty big fan of Curtis Hanson. He usually does a good job of capturing the emotions of his characters and uses their surroundings to heighten their moods and feelings. However, he failed on both accounts with LUCKY YOU. I felt the main characterís (Huck) emotional drama was really forced and we had no back story to tell us where he was coming from. We figured out he had a strained relationship with his father, but aside from a passing story, we donít know why. Then there was the city of Las Vegas, which served as a great, but underused supporting character. Unlike Los Angeles in LA CONFIDENTIAL or Detroit in 8 MILE, Las Vegas wasnít nearly used to its fullest extent.
Speaking of not being used properly, what happened to Drew Barrymore? Normally, sheís the cute and romantic female lead, but here she seemed kind of retarded. I donít say retarded as the slang insult, I mean she actually seemed like she had a mental handicap. I actually thought that was going to be part of the story, and I expected her older sister to break the news to Huck that heís been dating a mentally handicapped lounge singer. However, that storyline never happened, so I assume it was just a bad performance from Ms. Barrymore.
Eric Bana wasnít much better. I like the guy, but Iíve started to question his emotional range because his recent roles seem to require more drama than heís capable of giving. This one might be the fault of the screenwriters and maybe even Curtis Hanson. The entire film just didnít work and felt strained, especially the love story. I like poker as much as the next guy, but donít use it as a gimmick, and donít make it the only interesting part of the film.
The Reel Deal (14:26): This featurette focus on the poker players in the film and the year (2003) poker really became a national craze. All of the famous players sit down and talk about the year and how it changed themselves and the game. Iím still not sure what the big draw to poker is, but thereís no question itís as popular as ever. This feaurette was nice because we got to hear from a wide variety of people.
Deleted Scenes (9:08): These scenes werenít very long, but they actually cleared up a couple of questions I had while watching the film. I thought Debra Messing was underused and in the first scene we get to see more of her and we find out what she actually does. Unfortunately, we have to put up with more of Drewís singing, which is never a good thing.