Director: Curtis Hanson
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Eric Bana, Robert Duvall,
RunTime: 2 hrs
Released By: GVP
Official Website: www.luckyyoumovie.com
Billie Offer came to Las Vegas with dreams that have
nothing to do with what’s in the cards. She is hoping
to make a new life as a singer, and Vegas, with its miles
of small clubs and smoky lounges, seems like the right place
to start. But when Billie meets Huck Cheever her life changes
in ways she never expected.
professional poker player, Huck is known around town as a
blaster—a 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 World Series
of Poker—while also trying to win Billie’s affections—there
is one significant obstacle in his path: his father, L.C.
Cheever, the poker legend who abandoned Huck’s mother
years ago. In the end, it is Billie’s call to make.
If they are going to have any chance at all, she is going
to have to show Huck 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.
Director Curtis Hanson has had a few good movies
under his filmography, but truth be told, they aren’t
exactly the most entertaining ones, given the big names starring
in them. Let’s see, there were Russell Crowe and Kevin
Spacey in L.A. Confidential (1997), Tobey Maguire and Katie
Holmes in Wonder Boys (2000) and wow, Kim Basinger and a certain
rapper named Eminem in 8 Mile (2002).
abovementioned movies are talkies, and intelligently ones
at that. Not to mention the fine writing that has gone into
Hanson’s latest work, he has shown what a skilled director
he is, skillfully slowly milking out the intricate performances
from the stars.
124-minute movie slowly takes its time to tell a father-and-son
story (do not be misled by the handsome man and pretty lady
on the poster image). Eric “The Hulk” Bana plays
a poker player in Vegas who is on a quest to clinch the world
champion title. However, he has some personal battles to fight
– and that includes having to go heads on with his father
at the poker table. He also needs to find time to win a young
bar singer’s heart.
a game of life, we’d say.
movie may not be everyone’s cup of tea because other
than the superb acting by the cast, there isn’t really
much to look forward to, unless you are a poker fan who enjoys
seeing cards being flipped over. The anticipation and excitement
is unfathomable to this reviewer though.
plays his character with depth and an emotional angst that
will make women drool over his manliness. Veteran actor and
Oscar winner (1983, Tender Mercies) plays the father figure
with ease and takes care not to inject too much melodramatic
elements into the respected role.
then there is Drew Barrymore who last charmed us in Marc Lawrence’s
Music and Lyrics. The engaging actress’ role as a idealistic
girl looking for love may not be the most interesting character
we seen in recent times, but she plays it with so much warmth
and versatility, we can’t help but fall in love with
her every line.
don’t know about other disgruntled female audiences
out there, but we love Barrymore’s charm and charisma.
Other than a few breathtaking scenes of Las Vegas (we love
the spectacular-looking water fountain!), the lights and glamour
of the casinos are captured nicely on cinematographer Peter
Deming’s (Mulholland Drive, Rumour Has It…) lens.
Add an easy-going underscore by Christopher Young (Ghost Rider,
Spider-man 3) and a few tunes sung by Barrymore herself, and
you’d have a grounded production featuring a story about
the game of life.
the Hanson-directed picture is a showcase of good acting (credit
goes to the good-looking stars), good writing (credit goes
to writer Eric Roth and the director who co-wrote the screenplay)
and good directing (credit goes to Hanson’s sure-handed
don’t go into the cinema expecting a high-powered drama
involving battling of wits, conmen, shootouts and over-the-top
movie starring eye candy with sturdy performances and featuring
a down-to-earth story with well-intended messages)
by John Li