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1 item from 1992

FILM REVIEW - "Talkin' Serious Money'' By Henry SheehanTwo smalltime New York crooks try to make a big score in Los Angeles and thus get a gangster off their back in "We're Talkin' Serious Money,'' a sort of contemporary Damon Runyon tale. Leads Dennis Farina and Leo Rossi (who also co-wrote and co-produced) make for a more-than-adequate comic pair, but the film lacks both scope and a memorable boffo laugh scene.

1 April 1992 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

If the project was meant to demonstrate the range of the leads, it succeeds, but financial rewards are likely to be restricted to video.

After borrowing money from a Mafia don for a botched heist, Sal (Dennis Farina) and Charlie (Leo Rossi) hightail it for the San Fernando Valley. After Sal has a stint as a limo driver, the pair finally hook up with Marty the Greek (John Kapelos), a transplant from back East, who puts them onto a simple break-in.

The job, however, leads to murder, crooked politicans, and a million-dollar payoff, a sudden introduction to crime's big leagues for these small fry.

The film gets a surprising amount of mileage out of the contrast between the pair's New York attitudes and the indifferent L.A. environment -- Marty the Greek spouting health food adages, for example -- and provides a consistent source of humor. However, despite some memorably sarcastic deliveries by Fran Drescher, who plays Sal's skeptical girlfriend Valerie, the film doesn't budge much off that line.

The action scenes are OK. In fact, there is a lot of competence on display here; the film just needed to be larger, wilder and more uninhibited.



Director James Lemmo

Producer Paul Hertzberg

Coproducers Leo Rossi, Lisa M. Hansen

Writers James Lemmo, Leo Rossi

Director of photography Jacques Haitkin

Editor Steve Nevius

Music Scott Grusin


Sal Dennis Farina

Charlie Leo Rossi

Valerie Fran Drescher

Running time -- 95 minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13

(c) The Hollywood Reporter


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