The Cooler | EW.com

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The CoolerLike a long night at a Las Vegas casino, The Cooler is a lot of fun early in the evening, when the Rat Pack ambiance is novel, but gets bleary by 4...The CoolerComedyPT101MRLike a long night at a Las Vegas casino, The Cooler is a lot of fun early in the evening, when the Rat Pack ambiance is novel, but gets bleary by 4...2003-11-26Maria BelloJoey FatoneShawn HatosyRon LivingstonPaul SorvinoEstella WarrenMaria Bello, Joey Fatone, Shawn Hatosy, Ron Livingston, Paul Sorvino, Estella Warren
Maria Bello, Alec Baldwin, ...
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The Cooler

Genre: Comedy; Starring: Alec Baldwin, William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Joey Fatone, Shawn Hatosy, Ron Livingston, Paul Sorvino, Estella Warren; Director: Wayne Kramer (Director); Author: Wayne Kramer (Director); Release Date Wide: 12/19/2003; Runtime (in minutes): 101; MPAA Rating: R

Like a long night at a Las Vegas casino, The Cooler is a lot of fun early in the evening, when the Rat Pack ambiance is novel, but gets bleary by 4 a.m. in the story. And like a lot of bettors and developing screenwriters, Wayne Kramer – who cowrote the script with Frank Hannah and also makes his personable feature directorial debut – believes in magical Lady Luck as a market force with more insistent conviction than the average lottery-ticket buyer. Still, Kramer’s sexy, redolently seedy-looking indie is a swell, swingin’, low-stakes card game.

And William H. Macy and Alec Baldwin make a couple of terrific headliners. Macy plays Bernie Lootz, whose name telegraphs his fate: Bernie’s a sad sack whose loser vibe is so powerfully contagious that he’s employed to”cool” the luck of hot-streak players at the second-tier casino where he has run up a huge gambling debt. Baldwin is Shelly Kaplow, Bernie’s employer and friend (never mind that he once kneecapped the yutz), in a great, beefy, ice-cube-rattling performance as a so-so-fella. Bernie’s luck changes – to Shelly’s revenue-counting dismay – when he falls in love with a cocktail waitress (Maria Bello); Macy’s repertoire of lovable-lame roles expands when he gets graphically lucky in the sack. Then he becomes the Warmer.

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