Lucky You Reviews
[font=Century Gothic]Directed by Curtis Hanson, "Lucky You" may not have a particularly strong story, but it is a well-told character study(of a character who is not really that likable but that works too), starting with the bravura opening scene set in a pawn shop. On the other hand, the daddy issues are way too familiar. And while the climax is in the expected place, events do not unfold exactly as predicted. But isn't that the way it is with true life where no matter how talented a person is, luck is always a large factor in a deciding their destiny?[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The casting is superb, and not only with the principal actors. Most of the faces seen in the movie do not look like they came from Hollywood. Instead, they look like real people who came to Las Vegas and are still trying to find a way out. And not even Drew Barrymore is exempt from this particular spell of deglamorization. [/font]
In the R-rated drama Lucky You, a high-stakes card player (Bana) looks to win the World Series of Poker, the affections of a lovelorn singer (Barrymore), and his gambler father (Robert Duvall).
Director Curtis Hanson had the luck of the draw with L.A. Confidential, arguably one of the 10 best films of the last 25 years. Truthfully, Confidential has more verve and panache in its blooper reel than Lucky You does in its entire running time. Though Bana exhibited some of the best dramatic chops of 2005 with Munich, he is not given enough to work with from his supporting players (Barrymore, Duvall) or a lackluster script. Having Forrest Gump and The Good Shepherd to his resume, so much more was expected of screenwriter Eric Roth, who gives audiences a story that plays off a man?s obvious degeneracy as a cutesy aw-shucks character trait, quickly spiraling what should have been comedy into horror.
Bottom line: Leaves the audience busted.
A good romantic drama about poker. With a great cast like Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall and Debra Messing.
Eric Bana plays Huck Cheever, a Las Vegas poker player with a chip on his shoulder. Huck?s father L.C. Cheever (Robert Duvall), a major figure in professional poker tournaments, had abandoned Huck?s mother when Huck was still a child. Whenever Huck plays his father at poker he finds his emotions interfering with his game. Huck begins trying to save up the ten thousand dollars needed to enter the World Series of Poker when he meets a bar singer named Billie Offer (Drew Barrymore) who he becomes emotionally attracted to.
There are a lot of movies set in the world of Las Vegas gambling. Recent examples of the genre that come to mind are Wayne Kramer?s The Cooler, Richard Kwietniowski?s Owning Mahowny, and Paul Thomas Anderson?s Hard Eight. But few movies set in this world seem to be so singularly interested in the actual gambling. There is a love story here and a story about a father and son, but neither of these seem to be as interesting to Hanson as the ?sport? of Texas hold ?em poker.
The film does poker in a much more believable and realistic way than most films. It?s always been a pet peeve of mine to see the poor way that movies like the recent James Bond vehicle Casino Royale handled card games. Most movie poker games seem to be decided by a royal flush beating a straight flush. On the very few occasions when I?ve played poker I felt incredibly lucky whenever I got my hands on two pairs. Lucky You never falls into these traps, many games here are won with small pairs, and the one time an incredible hand occurs it is looked at as an extreme aberration.
Eric Bana is one of my personal favorite actors around today, he delivered great performances in Munich and Chopper, and when he was in below average movies like Troy and Hulk he usually ended up being the best part of them. Here he?s giving what I call a ?default performance?. It?s an unchallenging role in a contemporary film that basically works to establish what Bana is like in a normal film so we can appreciate him more when he?s really trying to disappear into a role. Robert Duvall is also a nice presence, but his is also a very unchallenging role. The performance of Drew Barrymore, however, is sub-par. I?ve come to not expect much from Barrymore, and she did not surprise me here.
Hanson does nothing poorly with the direction, but also nothing special. It is a fairly straightforward production and ultimately a fairly understated production. The cinematography works fairly well, and the movie isn?t over-edited. Hanson wisely chooses not to show any of the player?s hands except for Hucks, and there is a fair amount of suspense in the card games.
Huck Cheever is a somewhat interesting character, but he doesn?t have much to do here. The story arc is just too weak to really work. The love story is formulaic and feels like an afterthought, and there?s nothing in the father and son storyline we haven?t seen before. The story is ultimately a catalyst to explore this world of professional gambling. If this is a world you as the viewer have no interest in, this isn?t the movie for you. There is however enough interesting things about this world to entertain in a fairly moderate way. There?s nothing entirely bad about the movie, its success largely just depends on the viewer?s interest in Poker tournaments. Certainly worth a look if it?s on cable, possibly worth a rent if you have a great interest in Poker.
Overall i thought the film was pretty good and excellent representation of what people at home watching the poker game don't see and the harsh reality many poker players face kudos to the cast and director