Some guys get all the luck, whether they like it or not. Chili Palmer happens to be in Hollywood collecting a gambling debt when he's struck by lightning (not literally). Called a natural for the movie business, he's snagged up by a producer. The rest is history. Written by
Joshua Davis <email@example.com>
Gene Hackman based Harry Zimm on an agent he used to know. He was the phoniest man he ever knew. See more »
Harry describes the link between Martin Weir and Murray Saffrin as "Martin's personal trainer's shrink". Later, Chili refers to Martin's "trainer's shrink", and Harry replies "shrink's trainer". See more »
I am not sure whether I liked the movie or just John Travolta and his character Chili Palmer. I had a lot of fun watching 'Get Shorty', based on the novel by Elmore Leonard, so it doesn't really matter. The movie is about a mobster from Miami, Chili Palmer, who ends up in Los Angeles. After meeting a movie producer named Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman) he gets interested in the movie business. This is the main story, but this movie is based on an Elmore Leonard story so there are a lot of sub-plots with lots of interesting characters, all with great dialogue.
Besides Chili Palmer and Harry Zimm we meet Karen Flores (Rene Russo), an actress known for her screaming, Martin Weir (Danny DeVito) who is the hot actor of the moment, Ray Bones (Dennis Farina) who wants to collect some money that Chili has, Bo Catlett (Delroy Lindo) who wants money fro Harry Zimm, Bear (James Gandolfini) who was a stuntman but now is Bo's bodyguard, Leo Devoe (David Paymer) who stole the money that brought Chili to Los Angeles and Doris (Bette Midler). All characters are colorful, have great dialogue and an interesting part in the story, but all those great things are there together with Chili. For every nice moment Travolta is present.
The actors play their characters very well. Again, Travolta is great and owns the movie, but especially Farina and Hackman do a great job as well. The movie is well directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (from 'The Addams Family'), knowing how to avoid boring moments. The story with its dialogue would be enough to make a nice movie out of it. Fortunately we have the actors and direction to make it even better and definitely more entertaining.
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