Pros:Duvall and Bana
Cons:weak interludes, badly written supporting characters, too much poker, needed stronger central plot
The Bottom Line: There was just too much that went wrong with this film, and it ended up being neither anything like I expected nor interesting enough to either recommend or see again.
Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Recommend this product?
Let's be honest here, the previews and advertisements for the film Lucky You falsely represented what this movie was going to be about. They tried to play if off as a romantic comedy between two star actors, with the back drop being that one of them was a poker player, and the second one was a lounge singer. That isn't the case at all though, because this is a film about playing poker, and everything else around that is just filler to show the main character playing poker. Sure there are some sub-plots that make it interesting at times, and there are also some character dynamics that makes some of the sequences more worthwhile, but at the heart of the film, and taking up a majority of the screen time is indeed the practice of playing poker.
Now don't get me wrong when I talk down about the presentation of this film, because I do enjoy playing poker with my friends, and I fully understand and enjoy playing the game. I also don't mind seeing films about it, and I really liked Rounders, in fact, I would say it is one of the better poker films I have seen. The thing about that film though, was that they took the time to develop the characters, and made everyone interesting enough that I cared about what might happen to those in the leading roles. With Lucky You you aren't given enough time to really care about the lead actors, and the supporting characters are never given enough time to be interesting, sacrificing that on-screen time in order to show more poker matches between the main character and other insignificant people to the plot of the film.
Eric Bana (Troy) stars are Huck Cheever, a professional poker player that does this for a living. He is quite good at it too, but often finds himself being blinded by the need to dominate the game rather than just win at it. You could say this is a result of his father, who is also a professional poker player who ended up choosing the game over his wife and his son. L. C. Cheever is played by Robert Duvall, and the most interesting thing about the film are the scenes where he is allowed to show his acting talent, and isn't over-shown by the poker "sequences." Then you have Drew Barrymore as the romantic interest of Huck, Horatio Sanz, Debra Messing, and Jean Smart as other supporting characters that just weren't given enough screen time in order to make their stories worth telling. It's a shame too, because I think that they put a cast together that could have made this one a real winner.
Huck has always had a chip on his shoulder in regards to his father leaving, and it consumes him more than he is willing to admit. That dynamic eats at the character throughout the film, and ultimately is faced when the two end up playing each other in the same poker tournament. Quite telegraphed through the film, it was an expected scene that was a little interesting, but not really played out as well as it could have. Barrymore is in there to give Huck a romantic interest, and though she gets through his rough facade, the character wasn't given wings to develop or mature. That drags the story down, and makes the sub-plots seem almost worthless. There were some funny scenes involving the two and Saturday Night alum Sanz, but it wasn't enough. There was just too much "down-time" where poker was being played, and not enough story to make the film good at all. Not really recommended unless you want to watch 2 hours of scripted poker playing.
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Viewing Format: DVD