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Lucky Numbers (2000)
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Review Date: October 25, 2000
Director: Nora Ephron
Writer: Adam Resnick
Producers: N. Ephron, S. Daniel, J. Krane, A. Lazar
Actors:
John Travolta as Russ Richards
Lisa Kudrow as Crystal Latroy
Tim Roth as Gig
Plot:
In order to escape major financial difficulties, a local weatherman hooks up with his ball-picking lotto girlfriend and rigs the state lottery. But as more and more people find out about their scheme, more and more people demand a part of their winnings, and more and more problems arise.
Critique:
Simply stated, I didn't laugh once during this entire picture. For a comedy, it offered me a few smiles, a bunch of nincompoops as characters, a miscast John Travolta hamming it up and Lisa Kudrow, in what can only described as a "sluttier" version of her character of Phoebe on TV's "Friends". This film was not as disastrous as I thought it would be, but it was pretty close. Thankfully, the clips of Travolta dressed up in goofy outfits, dancing as the weatherman were left in the film's trailer, and not in this final cut. And not unlike the worst movie of the year so far, BEAUTIFUL, this film also managed to feature many unsympathetic, idiotic and just plain irritating characters in its cast. Foremost was Travolta's character, who declined to give us any reason to care for him once in the entire movie. And for me, the casting choice of John Travolta for this role was just plain wrong. He didn't fit the part. I just saw him in GET SHORTY the other day and thought about how perfect he was for that role. A cool, calculating roughneck with a certain hip, suave "je ne sais quoi". In this film, he looks like he's trying to be funny, trying to be bad, trying to be good. We're not supposed to be able to notice that, and when we do, at least in my case, I consider it a wrong choice in casting.

Add that to Lisa Kudrow, boring us with yet another one of her patented "dumb blonde" routines, but this time, dressed in sexier outfits. Michael Rapaport, stretching one small acting muscle to play the guy who isn't quite up at the same speed level as everyone else. And a truckload of empty comedic bullet shells, and you've got yourself an extremely quiet audience anticipating punch lines that never quite materialize. The only real good thing that I could say about this film is that its story was actually half-interesting and never really bored me. I also liked Michael Moore's perverted cousin character, and I loved, and I say it again, loved the character that Bill Pullman played. Give this dude his own movie! He played a lazy cop, a man who tries everything not to do any real work. He fakes injuries to get off duty, tries to avoid arrest situations so that he won't have to fill out any forms...now there's a base of humor. Sadly, the filmmakers decided to bring him into play with only about half an hour left in the film. And there's not much else I can say about this movie, folks. On the whole, it was lame, included a slew of unlikable characters fiddling around in a pool of unfunny lines, and very little of interest for any target audience. But get somebody to write up a movie featuring that lazy cop played by Pullman and I'm there!
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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