Lucky Numbers Reviews
Filming locations in Pennsylvania included Carlisle, Mechanicsburg, Enola, Harrisburg, Hershey, Lancaster, Palmyra, Penn Township, West Fairview, and Wormleysburg. Scenes also were filmed in California in Arcadia scenes along Route 66 stood in for Harrisburg's Route 22, Buena Park, Long Beach, and Sacramento, and in St. Augustine, Florida.
Lucky Numbers earned negative reviews from critics, as it holds a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 96 reviews.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times noted the film "tells too much story at not enough energy. It should have been cut back and cranked up. Instead, it keeps introducing new characters until the plot becomes a juggling act just when it should be a sprint. And there's another problem: Is it intended as a comedy, or not? I ask because there are funny things in it, and then gruesome things, sad things and brutal things. Quentin Tarantino was able to cover that spread in Pulp Fiction. But Nora Ephron . . . doesn't find a way . . . So much depends on tone in a movie. Either you find the right one and stick with it, or you're in trouble (unless, like Tarantino, you really know what you're doing). If we're supposed to like these people, then there's a point beyond which they should not go in their villainy. If we're not, then the scenes where they're nice should have more irony . . . By the end of the film, we're less entertained than relieved. Lots of stuff happened, and much of it might have been interesting in a different kind of film. Here we got the curious sense that the characters are racing around Harrisburg breathlessly trying to keep up with the plot."
Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle observed, "As both a writer and a director, Ephron has specialized in sentiment mixed with wiseguy banter - a combination that sometimes works but just as often succeeds only in being both cloying and irritating. In Lucky Numbers . . . [she] is suddenly liberated, and she guides her talented cast toward performances that are playful and yet comically precise . . . It's a bit of fluff that, all the same, is a gentle commentary on human nature . . . Mainly it's just a showcase for a lot of gifted comic actors to show their stuff - and for Travolta to go from complacency to wide-eyed panic, hitting all points in between."
Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post said, "Although Travolta gets top billing, Kudrow is the film's true manic engine, and her ability to carry off perky amorality propels the preposterous plot forward through numerous twists and setbacks . . . Her co-star, looking bloated and inert, appears to have settled into the role of the fall guy rather than even attempt to be an active participant. Ephron doesn't look as if she has her heart in the job either. Yes, the film is dark (literally as well as figuratively, since certain scenes are almost murky), but the director doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that the material is as cantankerous as it is. Time and time again, she keeps pulling back from the abyss just when Resnick's story lets us know that it's ready to abandon all social decency and hurl itself over the edge."
Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly graded the film with a "D" and commented, "The laughs are few in this inert, ungenerous comedy because Ephron's tendency to condescend to her characters, coupled with Harrisburg-born Resnick's mocking worldview . . . makes for a queasy time." She added everyone in the cast is "ill-served by the director's rhythmless pacing, her muddy visual sense, and her insistence on reducing characters to caricatures."
The film was released on DVD on March 20, 2001. It is in anamorphic widescreen format with audio tracks in English and French and subtitles in English. Bonus features include an audio commentary with Nora Ephron and interviews with the cast and crew.
John Travolta's performances in this and Battlefield Earth won him the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor.
man I think that this is such a really funny movie 2 watch.....I think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch.......I think that john Travolta was absolutely funny throughout this movie.....man I think that lisa kudrow was really good throughout this movie....I think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie, I think that this is such an underrated movie 2 watch but it is such a really funny movie 2 watch
The screenplay by Adam Resnick was inspired by the 1980 Pennsylvania Lottery scandal.
I think that both lazy detectives Lakewood (Bill Pullman) and Chambers (Daryl Mitchell), were absolutely funny throughout this movie......man this is such an underrated movie 2 watch, but man it is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch. with a great cast throughout this movie, it is such a really funny movie 2 watch......