So how ‘bout that Spider-Man 3? No, really, how ‘bout it? You see, while all of you were out there this weekend contributing to Spidey’s record $148 million box-office total, I joined nine other souls (yeah, I counted) last night at a 10 p.m. screening of Lucky You, the Drew Barrymore-Eric Bana vehicle that’s been plagued by bad buzz and multiple unappealing trailers. And it’s all for you, PopWatchers! It’s all for you! So if you’re like most Americans — and would prefer to think of Curtis Hanson as the man who brought you L.A. Confidential and Wonder Boys, and not an interminable, hideously shot excuse for a romantic drama — read on for my spoiler-filled account. As my friend Charlie (whom I forcibly dragged to the theater with me) whispered at the midway mark, “Lucky you… if you didn’t have to see this piece of crap.”
Plot synopsis: Smooth-talking dude (Bana) with horrific gamblingaddiction and serious daddy issues (that may or may not be related tobeing named Huckleberry), engages in one-night-stand with moon-eyedlounge singer named Billie (Barrymore), “borrows” $1,200 from herpurse, loses it at the poker table, proceeds to spend the remainder offilm (successfully) wooing her back, (successfully) burning throughhuge wads of cash, and (unsuccessfully*) trying to defeat dear old dadin high-stakes poker tournament. (*Huck shows “growth” by tossing hispair o’ aces and letting pappy’s pair o’ kings carry him to the finals.Winning isn’t everything! See?)
Worst performance: While Bana makes absolutely no impression during thefilm’s 124 minute running time (a formidable accomplishment), he’sgoing to have to settle for the silver medal. Gold goes to his leadinglady, whose performance reminded me of a bad actress trying toimpersonate Drew Barrymore trying to give the cutesiest performance ofher career.
Infuriating inconsistencies: Huck’s massive facial bruise dramaticallyfades over a 24-hour period and never turns the hideous gray-greenthat bruises often do; Billie/Barrymore is not a good singer yet findsgainful employment in that line of work; Billie gets sold out by herown sister (Debra Messing), who warns Billie away from Huck, thenpromptly gives up little sister’s home address to the thieving dude,and leaves him alone in her unlocked apartment so she can finish dryingher hair and go to bed.
Irritating random nicknames given to Huck: “Waterboy,” “Kid,” “Sunshine,” “Cinderella.”
Most disturbing image: Former Becker star Saverio Guerra, whosecharacter gets surgical breast implants and lives out of a casinobathroom… all as part of his wacky betting schemes! Wacky!
Three worst bits of dialogue:
3. “You might have to dial 1-900-It’s-Over.” — uttered with little/no irony/sass by Bana’s heterosexual male character.
2. Messing: “I had his number pretty early.”
Barrymore: “What’s his number?”
Messing: “Hustle, 10. Commitment, zero.”
1. “Do you mind if I get my fortune cookie first? I like to think aboutit during the meal.” — used as a way to establish Barrymore’s characteras “quirky” and “cute,” but successful only in inciting feelings ofrage/collapse.