You got it backwards kid. You play cards the way you should lead your life. And you lead your life the way you should play cards. -L.C. Cheever
Lucky You (2007)
Posted By Heather On 30 Jan 2009. Under 1.5 Stars (Insignificant), 2008, Drama Tags: Curtis Hanson, Debra Messing, Drew Barrymore, Eric Bana, Eric Roth, Horatio Sanz, Lucky You, Robert Duvall
Rated PG-13 for some language and sexual humor.
Directed By: Curis Hanson
Written By: Curtis Hanson and Eric Roth
Staring: Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall, Debra Messing, and Horatio Sanz
A poker player who’s made all the wrong choices now has everything at stake, the biggest game of his life, and the woman he loves.
Eric Bana is incredibly charismatic and Drew Barrymore infectious, but both of their star qualities couldn’t save this mundane story about a poker player trying to live his dream. Eric Bana comes off as this edgy character who obviously gets by on his smoldering good looks and ability to hustle people. The problem is, he isn’t interesting. The mysterious persona he attempts to swagger actually makes him seem desperate and dumb, while clearly the character is supposed to be screwing his life up in a purposeful way. Either way, the forced complexity of the character and his challenges with his father, while falling in love and fouling it up, along with his professional life, becomes entirely obnoxious after the first few errors in his judgement.
The problem becomes issues with pacing, the poker itself, and the amount of tragical errors Bana’s character has to overcome. After an amount of time it’s obvious the guy isn’t going to learn any of his lessons because it’s how he chooses to live his life. His character was created so stubborn and so bull headed that the movie itself made it seem impossible for him to change or vanquish his former faults. When he finally does, it’s just not believable, and frankly by then he’s so unlikable, it’s nearly impossible to connect or empathize with him anyway.
Robert Duvall as his father and Drew Barrymore as his love interest are also difficult to find empathy with. Robert Duvall for being the selfish and cruel father, that’s redeeming qualities also show up too late. Barrymore for playing such a pushover that her sweet innocence is challenging to forgive. It almost seems after the first few interludes that she is asking to be punished. She barely knows him and a few “I’m sorry’s” don’t make the cut for forgiveness, unless you are a moron.
The most frustrating aspect of the film was somewhere within the script it almost seemed like there could have been a good story, but the drastic personalities of the characters, their actions and words contradicting each other regularly became a mess of a movie. If less time was spent educating the viewer on the rules of Texas Hold ‘Em poker and more time was spent developing the character’s and giving them more than trite motivations and interactions, Lucky You, could have done something. In this scenario, the viewer loses to the house big time.