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It Could Happen to You (1994)

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A police officer promises to share his lottery ticket with a waitress in lieu of a tip.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bo Williams
Eddie Biasi
Sal Bontempo
C. Vernon Hale
Robert Dorfman ...
Beatrice Winde ...
Ginny Yang ...
Mrs. Sun


Charlie and Muriel Lang have led simple lives - for most of their existance. That's until they win $4 million on the lottery! There is a problem, however. Prior to winning the lottery, Charlie had eaten at a cafe and hadn't been able to tip the waitress. He had promised her, jokingly, that if he won the lottery he'd give her half of it. This is why his wife, Muriel decides to leave him. She doesn't want the waitress to get a cent of their money. Infact she wants all $4 million for herself! Written by Michael Feller <reb@magna.com.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's not about money. It's about life. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and a scene of cop action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 July 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cop Gives Waitress $2 Million Tip!  »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,112,822, 31 July 1994, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


At Charlie and Muriel's divorce proceedings, Muriel has had a breast augmentation. They are Rosie Perez's real breasts. She had to have them bound down for the first half of the movie, to appear smaller. See more »


When you see the first pictures of the two cops the number on Charlies shirt collar is 22. Later in the movie it changes to 33, which was the number on his buddies shirt collar in the first scene. See more »


Charlie Lang: I told you I'd share my ticket. I never planned on sharing my heart. Maybe I could get lucky twice today.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film was inspired by the generosity of detective Robert Cunningham (ret.) and his wife, Gina. Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham have been happily married for 31 years. The waitress and her husband have been happily married for 37 years. See more »


Remade as Bade Dilwala (1999) See more »


You Must Believe Me
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Performed by The Impressions
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User Reviews

An enjoyable piece of escapism

The question that probably everybody once asked to himself / herself and many others is: what would you do if you won the lottery? Well, I know what I would do with it. I wouldn't change much to my lifestyle, but for those who don't know what to expect, this movie gives a good idea of how gaining a lot of money in a short period of time can influence your entire life... But I don't watch movies to know what to do with my life and neither should other people. Movies are entertainment and this one certainly offers plenty of that.

When Charlie Lang, a New York cop with a heart of gold, can't give a tip to Yvonne, a waitress at a small diner, he promises her that he will come back the next day to give her the double of her money or, in case he wins anything, half of his share of the state lottery. Of course she doesn't believe him, but when he comes back the next day and offers her the chance to chose between the two options, she goes for the lottery option. Only than he tells her that he has won 4 million dollars and that she will get half of that. But there is only one problem: his wife Muriel. She gets greedy, certainly doesn't want to share her money with a waitress she doesn't know, but doesn't even want to share it with her own husband. As Charlie and Muriel grow apart, Charlie and Yvonne grow together and it doesn't take long before Muriel files for divorce, grabs all the money and leaves with a rich man by her side...

There are plenty of romantic comedies nowadays and it is very hard to find a really good one. Well, this might be one of the few. I really liked it and there are many reasons for that. One certainly is that, despite the fact that we live in a world full of greed and egoism, some writers still try to give us hope by showing that not everything in the world is bad. OK, that may sound incredibly naive, but I really am not that stupid as you might think. I'm a business man in heart and soul, but sometimes I can really enjoy this type of positive escapism.

The fact that Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda play an important role in this movie also helps of course. And it has to be said, they really played their roles well and very convincingly. But they weren't the only ones, because the same can be said about Rosie Perez. She's incredibly good as the money-hungry bitch and despite what many people might think, she doesn't exaggerate. I've known people to change into someone just like her character once they had a bit of money in their hands... Overall this is a nice, perhaps a bit naive movie with some good acting and an interesting story. I really liked what I saw and find this one of the better romantic comedies I've ever seen. I give it a score of at least 7.5/10, although I think that even an 8/10 isn't exaggerated.

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