Lucky You

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall, Debra Messing. Drama. Written by Eric Roth & Curtis Hanson. Directed by Curtis Hanson.

FILM SYNOPSIS. In the world of high-stakes poker, Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) is a blastera player who goes all out, all the time. But in his personal relationships, Huck plays it tight, expertly avoiding emotional commitments and long-term expectations. When Huck sets out to win the main event of the 2003 World Series of Pokerand the affections of Billie Offer (Drew Barrymore), a young singer from Bakersfieldthere is one significant obstacle in his path: his anger toward his father, L.C. Cheever (Robert Duvall), the poker legend who abandoned Huck's mother years ago. As these two rivals progress toward a final showdown at the poker table, Huck learns that to win in the games of life and poker, he must try to play cards the way he has been living his life and live his life the way he has been playing cards.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Its difficult making a card game fun movie-viewing. They did it in The Cincinnati Kid and The Sting, but The Cincinnati Kid was an interesting character study and the poker game in The Sting was about everything but poker. In other words, there has to be something very interesting going on surrounding the game. It cant just be intense stares from bland stars. Sadly, theres just not much else going on around the gambling in Lucky You. There are some bright moments whenever Robert Duvall is in view and Ms. Barrymore definitely has star power, but Mr. Bana, though a fine actor, doesnt generate much screen excitement. The film is flat, uninteresting. How this happened, Im not sure. Those involved have proved their abilities and director Curtis Hanson made L.A. Confidential, one of the most riveting films of the last decade. And co-writer Eric Roth wrote Forrest Gump. Thats hard to beat. So why is Lucky You deadly dull?

Along with snaillike pacing, one-dimensional characters and poker-faced dialogue, the subject of compulsive gambling never seems to take serious focus. Theres an element of sleaze, but no atmosphere. And no real dimension or purpose, leaving us with a film that is better suited to aiding those with sleep disorders than those who wonder if they have a gambling addiction.

Dont intend to see it? Lucky You.

Video Alternative: The Hustler. Its about gambling and the love of billiards. But its far more than that. Paul Newman brings a mesmerizing intensity to this character study of a pool-playing drifter who challenges the great Minnesota Fats (a superb Jackie Gleason). Cast also includes solid performances from Piper Laurie and George C. Scott. Caution: The Hustler does contain mature content, but it was made in 1961 before the MPAA allowed for explicit material and profane language.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros.

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A crude term for the female anatomy.

Obscene Language: Five or so obscenities, mostly the s-word.

Profanity: Two profane uses of Christs name.

Violence: The lead is manhandled by goons that work for a loan shark. He is injured when thrown into an empty pool.

Sex: The lead couple is seen in bed, it being implied that they sleep together after knowing each other for only one day. Different women dress provocatively.

Nudity: Revealing clothing on several women.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: One crude sexual remark.

Drugs: Social drinking throughout and supporting characters are seen smoking.

Other: This film contains one of the weirdest gross-outs ever, a man with a womans breasts. He had lost a bet and had to have implants.

Running Time: 130 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and Adults

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