Well this will be the third week in a row I have suffered from anticipointment, that wonderful feeling of having incredibly high expectations for a film only to have them dashed against the rocks. Lucky You is probably the unluckiest film in the world. Delayed almost two years the film revolves around a sport that has a growing fan base of mostly males, that sport is high stakes poker. Now you would think this would be a male driven and male promoted film. No, throw in a female love interest and you have a very convoluted romantic poker dramedy. So if you’re a poker player how much are you betting I enjoyed this movie?
Lucky You centers on Huck Cheever played by Eric Bana. Huck is a competitive poker player going around the various casinos in Las Vegas always looking to score more cash. He also has daddy issues which resurface when his father, L.C. (Robert Duvall) returns to enter the World Series of Poker. Throw into the music a fledging lounge singer played by Drew Barrymore and you have all the makings of a character drama with romantic undertones.
I have to say that Lucky You is probably the worst movie I have sat through, and believe me I’ve sat through a lot of crappy movies, Evan Almighty anybody? I think this is probably the second film I’ve ever seen that I wanted to walk out of halfway through and the third film that made me want to take my own life. When you think about it Lucky You should have had something going for it. It was directed by the usually great Curtis Hanson who made 8 Mile and LA Confidential which is probably one of my favorite movies. It also stars Eric Bana of Troy fame and Drew Barrymore. Actually going in I should have known that Drew Barrymore would contribute to the awfulness.
Now Lucky You is not bad because of its acting, it’s bad because of its story. The film itself was marketed as a romantic drama revolving around poker when it’s anything but. First off, if you are not a fan of poker or if you don’t know how to play it STAY AWAY from Lucky You. I’ve never played poker and I have no concept of the game so for almost the entire movie I was bored out of my mind. Almost the entire film takes place around a poker table and it makes the gambling scenes in Casino Royale look like the best night of your life. The movie is a poker film that should have been geared towards men. The movie also seems to tack on this love story as an afterthought. Barrymore’s character, Billie Offer, comes and goes throughout the movie and at the end you have no idea if she’s even in the film still. Barrymore also uses this movie to showcase her singing ability and believe me it’ll make you wish Britney Spears was singing since lip-synching would have better. The film is also very long, at two hours and five minutes if you’re not a fan by the beginning you’re in for a VERY long ride.
Now as stated above, the movie doesn’t suffer from bad acting…well not entirely. Eric Bana works with what he has and he is a convincing Lothario. You want to be seduced by him because he seems so confident, except when he’s around his dad. He definitely kept me from walking out entirely. Robert Duvall is also competent as Bana’s father although I would have liked some further development of their backstory but that’s just me. The weakest link is Drew Barrymore who takes her Never Been Kissed character and turns it up to 11. She’s so perky one minute and then very angry the next. When she turns up the film grinds to a halt. Debra Messing is also wasted as Barrymore’s sister and it makes you wonder why she’s credited fourth.
So, if you’re a betting man were you right about what you thought I would say about this movie? If you’re a fan of poker then this has your name written all over it. If you’re not a player or if you’re a female looking for a love story and some eye candy then stay away from Lucky You because it doesn’t have what you’re looking for. You wouldn’t believe how many times I told my mother we should have seen Spiderman 3. Unlucky me for having to sit through this film.