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Where the Money Is (2000)
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Review Date: April 21, 2000
Director: Marek Kanievska
Writer: E. Max Fry, Topper Lilien, Carroll Cartwright
Producers: Ridley Scott, C. Dorr, C. Weinstock, C. Zarpas
Actors:
Paul Newman as Henry Manning
Linda Fiorentino as Carol
Dermot Mulroney as Wayne
Plot:
A lifelong bank-robber fakes his own stroke in jail so that he could be sent to a temporary nursing home, from where he intends to find an easier route to the outside world. Unfortunately for him, his nurse is on to his game and ultimately ends up trying to convince him to work with her on one more bank job.
Critique:
As I left the theater, I was still a little confused as to what kind of film they were going for with this one. If it was meant as a crime caper, it failed because there really wasn't much tension, suspense or action. If it was meant as a romance or drama, it failed to a certain extent, because there was actually very little chemistry between husband and wife, even though Newman did manage to shine all on his own. His back-and-forths with Fiorentino were definitely the highlight of the film. And lastly, if this film was meant as a comedy, it didn't fully achieve its full potential either, with only a handful of guffaws sprinkled lightly across its quick 90-minute canvas. Of course, it really shouldn't matter whether or not one could qualify this film in any specific category, as long as the film can be entertaining as a whole. Unfortunately for this movie, it rarely peaked any level of interest on my part, especially after its extremely slow start and eventual predictable story line.

Of course, I still recommend seeing it (although I would suggest waiting for video), only because of the understated performance by Newman, who doesn't achieve the emotional vibe that he was able to contribute to NOBODY'S FOOL, but definitely tweaked enough of my interest, to sit through the film's unoriginal plotline. Points also go out to Fiorentino, who had up until recently been relegated to roles featuring her gruffy voice and fine legs (this film also focuses on her booty), scoring with a solid performance of a down-and-out small town nurse looking for a way out of her hum-drum life. Her sexual appeal also decided to make a palpable appearance in this film, with a touch of THE LAST SEDUCTION still shining through. As a whole, the film doesn't suck by any means, nor does it bring anything exciting to the table. It's a very generic tale of an old-time crook looking for a new score, and a new crook looking for some old-time help. Some charm, some laughs, zero tension, solid performances by Newman and Fiorentino, wrapped in a so-so story. Sound interesting to you? Well, maybe you should just see it to pay tribute to one of America's favorite actors. And no...I'm not talking about Dermot Mulroney! :)
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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