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Just the Ticket (I) (1999)

R  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  26 February 1999 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 1,624 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 20 critic

A ticket scalper wants to make one last big deal on the pope's visit to finally do something worthwhile about his relationship.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gary Starke
...
Linda Palinski
...
Benny Moran
...
Lady with Cash
Fred Asparagus ...
Zeus
...
Harry the Head
Anita Elliott ...
Refund Lady at the Met
...
San Diego Vinnie
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Alice / 'Cyclops'
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Tony
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Barry the Book
...
TV Customer
Jack Cafferty ...
Newscaster
Molly Wenk ...
Catholic Schoolgirl Fanny
...
Catholic Schoolgirl Lucy (as Daniella Garcia-Lorido)
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Storyline

Gary is a charming guy, but Linda is tired of his grand plans and schemes. All of which have gone down the drain. Gary is a 'scalper'. Together with his friends and his 'Guardian Angel', Benny, he buys tickets to events and sells them off at highly increased prices. This doesn't really make him rich and proves to be more difficult than usual when a new guy gets into town, strong-arming all of Gary's sources. But then the gift of heaven arrives. The Pope is coming for a visit. Gary wants to make a lot of money on this so he can finally get one of his (more decent) plans for Linda off the ground and really work on a lasting relationship with her. Written by <zombie@il.fontys.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Irresponsible, Unreliable, Unpredictable and totally Irresistible.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

26 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Ticket Scalper  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The end credits includes a song about Gary's Plaque-O-Rama which was based off of the jingle that Andie MacDowell improvised during the shooting of a scene. See more »

Crazy Credits

After all of the credits have run, the character of Fred Asparagus is shown selling some merchandise, accompanied by credit saying "Fred Asparagus (1947-1998)" See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 6 March 1999 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Date
Music by Andy Garcia & Andie MacDowell
Lyrics by Richard Wenk & Andy Garcia
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Now THAT'S the ticket!
23 September 2001 | by (Jersey City, NJ) – See all my reviews

I was surprised at this film's low ratings and poor critical reviews. This is a really, really good film! A unique piece of filmmaking like nothing I've seen in a while! First of all, it has a great sense of realism. Writer/director Richard Wenk does a brilliant job at capturing the hustle and bustle of New York City streets. And unlike in many films, where directors decide to cut corners and shoot part of the movie in Canada, "Just the Ticket" possesses an authenticity of the Big Apple that only NY-based directors like Martin Scorcese and Sidney Lumet have captured better. There are no gimmicky attempts at style (in the words of Mr. Lumet: what's style?); we're not bombarded by pretentious shots of the Statue of Liberty or anything like that. A film like this perfectly captures the essence of New York, without patronizing the city.

Andy Garcia possibly gives the best performance of his career! I've always admired him as an actor, and I respect almost all Hispanic actors who make it big in show-biz (most of them happen to be great actors, too). Garcia displays an unrelenting energy in his performance as ticket scalper Gary Stark. After watching this film, I'm surprised if he doesn't get approached to star in a Broadway play. He has enough energy to light up the stage! Yet he's charming all the way; never obnoxious. We fall in love with his character. We fall in love with the supporting characters as well. Andie McDowell (though I don't think she has an attractive presence; hey, beauty's in the eye of the beholder!) is charming as his love interest. The two Andys have a perfect chemistry together--a real chemistry. The kind of chemistry that real lovers would possess; and not "Hollywood lovers." You can't help but smile every minute they share the screen. Though they quarrel at times, you just keep thinking "They were meant for each other." And best of all (especially considering it's an R-rated film) their relationship is not based on sex. There's not one sex scene in this movie. If it weren't for some naughty street language, you can take the whole family to see this movie. Richard Bradford is amazingly likeable as Gary's friend for life/father figure. You feel more and more sympathy for him (which is ironic for a guy who scalps tickets and tells lies for a living) and their father-son relationship as the film goes along. I was touched by the subplot between Gary and his heroin-abusing pregnant friend Cyclops (Laura Harris). Their interactions, including his attempts to stop her from abusing drugs, are very moving. I was also glad to see a male-female friendship that doesn't end in love or sex. You don't see that too much in the movies. Rob Liebman (who co-starred with Garcia in "Night Falls on Manhattan") makes a few short appearances. He's a terrific, underrated actor and it was great to see the two of them share the screen again.

Some may find this film uneven. I can predict there's going to be a lot of complaints about the way "it can't decide whether it wants to be a comedy or drama." I liked the balance between the comedic and dramatic elements, with romance rubbed into the equation. This is not one of those over-the-top, slapstick, screwball comedies that many are probably used to. It has a good sense of maturity. And most of the humor is used for comic relief. There's a good deal of drama in the story, so don't expect to be laughing all the way. So if you want to blame someone--blame the ones who marketed this film. But I was so engaged in the story and characters that I didn't feel a need for laughs. This is an interesting, moving piece of storytelling that never goes over the top and keeps its feet on the ground. Never once was I uttering, "this only happens in the movies." Wenk didn't take any cheap shots, and I admire him for that. So why--oh why was this film so poorly rewarded?

Not to mention this the first film to provide insight into the world of ticket scalping. And I don't think they could've done it any better. I saw Garcia on Conan O'Brien's show when he was promoting the movie, and he said that he did actual field research and posed as a ticket scalper to help get into the shoes of his character. I'll also mention that a famous celebrity (a living legend to some) makes a brief appearance. I was amazed when he appeared on screen. It wasn't one of those predictable cameos, where you had a feeling that person was going to show up anyway. Face it, brace yourselves. And don't read the complete IMDB cast list before watching the movie; it'll ruin the experience. :)

"Just the Ticket" is a charming, engaging, unique, touching film that'll fill your heart with good cheer. It's definitely one of those overlooked flops that'll amaze you. Plus, the soundtrack's great! Andy Garcia helped compose most of the music for the score. I developed the biggest smile on my face when they played "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" at the final scene. This is a film that captures your heart from all angles.

My score: 8 (out of 10)


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