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Director David Mirkin used to write for "The Simpsons," which explains why
Danny Elfman did the main theme for "Heartbreakers" - a movie that,
success-wise, has more in common with The Greatest TV Show Ever than with
Mirkin's earlier "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion," and not just
because Shawn Colvin makes a guest appearance here as well. Don't get me
wrong, it's not nearly as clever - but it IS often as funny. Plus you get
look at Jennifer Love Hewitt a lot.
Mother/daughter grifter duo Sigourney Weaver and JLH are on the verge of splitting up, but agree to do One Last Big Score (isn't it always the way) in order to get out of trouble with the IRS and part sufficiently loaded; Gene Hackman, as a chain-smoking pensionable zillionaire ("His liver spots are positively luminous") is their mark in Palm Beach and also the source of a lot of the fun. In fact, he and an under-used Ray Liotta come close to swiping the film from the leads, but Sig and Love make a good team, each complementing the other - Weaver's the better actress, but Hewitt holds her own; and though the former's attractive, the latter - even in her blonde disguise - is smokin' (something the film never forgets - you get to look at Jennifer Love Hewitt a lot).
The Robert Dunn/Paul Guay/Stephen Mazur script won't win plaudits from the PC brigade; "Heartbreakers" is often a farce in a good sense, but the female characters come off for the most part not as morally upright as their male counterparts (though Hackman's moneybags is by far the most repellent person here). Pacy for sure, and often funny if not always in what the late British DJ Kenny Everett's Cupid Stunt character called "the best possible taste" (witness the oral sex gags early on), there's a distinct slowing down as the tale unfolds and Jen's growing feelings for a potential mark (Jason Lee) makes it more sentimental than cynics would like; the first half of the movie is funnier and edgier than the second. But you get to look at Jennifer Love Hewitt a lot.
In the end, "Heartbreakers" has a tone a bit too much like the likes of "Are You Being Served?" to be a must-view for all; the movie sometimes comes across like a "Carry On" film. Only with a budget. And good performances. And decent writing. And funny. And with a fine soundtrack. Okay, so it's not much like a "Carry On" film, but it does make for a good two hours' watching; Weaver fans will get a particular kick out of her rendition of "Back In The U.S.S.R.", and Hackman fans will enjoy seeing him upstage everyone except for Hewitt's anatomy; I gave this 7 out of 10, but I should have given this an 8 purely on that count. This is one movie that lives up to its title.
And did I mention you get to look at Jennifer Love Hewitt a lot?
What a fabulously funny film!!!! Jennifer love Hewitt and Sigourney Weaver work so well together, and the emotional scenes in the film are so believable. Plus looking at Jennifer love Hewitt in a series of brightly coloured micro dresses is fabulous. You can really tell she is turning from a little bitch to a sensual beauty who cares. Sigourney Weaver is so funny, I was in stitches listening to her as "olga". What I did find confusing though was her constant hair colour and length change. One minute its long and red, the next like a bob and blonde, was it a wig, if so where was the indication!!!! Her rendition of "back in the U.S.S.R" was hilarious yet catchy. Ray Liotta, Gene Hackman and Jason Lee as the love-struck victims are perfectly cast.In the scene where Jennifer Love Hewitt is on the bed "sleeping", and opens her eyes crying, I was and still am choked when I see it. Fab film folks 10/10
Pussy Power is this films message,and Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt are two hot actresses who team up to create Max and Page Conners,a seductively sexy mother/daughter con team who deviously lure men into marriage and then leave them broken hearted,and....Broke. Heartbreakers is a delightful comedy that proves how deceitful a clever woman can be,as Weaver demonstrates as the gorgeous and alluring Max Conners,who targets wealthy gentleman,walks them down the aisle,and then empties their pockets through divorce when she discovers that they have eyes for other women.But the amusing thing about this film is that the other women is Max's sexy younger daughter Page,and she can turn just as many heads as her mother.Unknown to her husbands,Page is trained to seduce them,helping her mother get out of her newest marriage with a few bucks in her pocket,and the freedom to put more foolish men under her spell.Ray Liotta is hilarious as Dean,and Vinnie Stagliano,the ex husband of Max,who is bitter and desperate for revenge when he discovers how much of a bitch his ex wife is.Meanwhile,Page believes she could just as easily lure men into marriage like her mother,and sets her sights on Jack Withroe (Jason Lee)a bar owner who falls in love with her,unaware of her game.But the plot really gets interesting when we learn that Page has a heart and is in love with Jack.The ending is exciting,enjoyable and romantic.Heartbreakers is a fun film for the females,with plenty of eye candy and cleavage for the males!
HEARTBREAKERS / (2001) *** (out of four)
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee, Jeffrey Jones, Gene Hackman, Nora Dunn, and Anne Bancroft. Directed by David Mirkin. Written by Robert Dunn, Paul Guay, and Stephen Mazur. Produced by John Davis and Irving Ong. Rated PG-13 (for sexual content and language). Released by MGM Productions.
It is becoming a genuine tradition for movies with sexy stars and seductive content to believe that males of all ages view the world not with their brain, but with the external organ between their legs. "Heartbreakers" does a convincing job at persuading us to agree, if we guy audience members can ourselves get past the ample amounts of cleavage and sexy dialogue inhabiting by this PG-13 rated comedy that contains enough suggestive material and revealing midriffs for many parents to pause over. The film is another mother-daughter story about letting your children grow up-but disguised itself as a hilarious comedy about sensuous swindlers who make their own luck. It makes us laugh because of the irony of its situations, and it makes us smile because of the knowledge of the writing by Robert Dunn, Paul Guay, and Stephen Mazur. "Heartbreakers" is easily one of the funniest comedies of the year.
The film stars Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love-Hewitt as Max and Page, two conniving con artists who use their good looks to get what they want. As the movie opens, Max is married to small-time Jersey womanizer Dean Cumanno (Ray Liotta), but the marriage is short lived when Max shows up at his office the next day only to find her newlywed fooling around with an attractive younger woman-her daughter, Page. The whole act was a setup for a abrupt and easy divorce settlement, with the two double-dealers coming away from the act with their pockets overloaded with three-hundred thousand dollars and a really nice car.
Page is growing up and wants to start a business on her own, but her mother thinks she is not yet ready and finds them both in a demanding circumstance: the IRS needs lots of money real soon from Max and Page. A spiteful agent (Anne Bancroft) explains that their accounts have been drained and criminal charges are about to be pursued. Page coincides to help her mother with one last job in order to pay off the alleged debts. They find the perfect target in Palm Beach, an aging tobacco exec named William B. Tensy (Gene Hackman), who is worth over twenty million. Although neither Page or Max find this smelly chain smoking, old man particularly attractive, Max poses as a Russian aristocrat named Ulga Yevanova, while Page finds her way with Tensy as a revealing housekeeper for his local mansion.
This last job ultimately poses a few problems for Max and Page. Max finds herself followed by Dean, who seeks another martial bliss. Page finds herself falling in love with the kind-hearted owner of a local bar (Jason Lee), who is worth three million dollars. Max wants her to go for his pocketbook, but Page really has feelings for this person-even though romance is against her better judgment. The two must decide how to deal with these situations, all while persuading Tensy to further fall for Max in attempt to pay off the IRS.
Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sigourney Weaver deliver performances that are both sexy and funny. They are also very well cast; making perfect and believable mother-daughter chemistry. There are also some funny performances from the strong supporting cast. Gene Hackman makes a fool out of himself with a character on the other side of the world from anything he has recently done. The charismatic young actor Jason Lee ("Almost Famous," "Mumford") furnishes a convincing romantic interest-although there is little chemistry between Hewitt and him. Anne Bancroft ("The Graduate," "Great Expectations") fits in with the crowd gleefully. Other small roles from Jeffrey Jones ("The Devil's Advocate," "Sleepy Hollow") as a hotel manager and Nora Dunn ("Three Kings") as a maid framed for house robbing her own employer, are also entertaining.
Director David Mirkin struck out with the 1997 comedy "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," but here captures the perfect tone for the comic material. Hearty laughs are frequent and big-and it takes a lot to make me
laugh. The film prospers with a script that provides its amusing characters with many active situations and plot twists that are unanticipated and effective. Eventually, however, the film becomes rapped up in a sappy love story that somewhat gets in the way of the comedy. The movie's tone becomes a little too serious, and we end up feeling cheated out of even more boisterously entertaining moments.
When it comes to getting tons of laughs out of the audience, the film prospers with no problems. Hewitt and Weaver make great career moves, especially after they each tried their strings with failed serious films (Weaver's past several "Alien" movies have bombed, and Hewitt could not do a thing with "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer). "Heartbreakers" contains enough effective comic material to warrant more than a single viewing. It is one of the best comedies of the year.
The film was billed as a romantic comedy, but I didn't see it that way.
It's certainly a comedy (with a little romance) but this is far closer
to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels than Pretty Woman.
Anyway, when i watched it i found the film to be one of the best comedies i've seen for years. Its about a sexy mother and daughter pairing of Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love-Hewitt who basically marry men for their money; every character seems to be double crossing every other character, and it makes for terrific viewing.
Each member of the cast puts in a top performance, the characters are all intelligently written and the story is very strong and interesting.
I have to recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good laugh, this is definitely not just a another chick flick, it is a brilliantly funny movie. 8/10
This screwball comedy brings together some great dramatic actors in
unaccustomed comedic roles. The results are mixed (but mostly good), with
some terrific slapstick and some pure drivel. Maxine (Sigourney Weaver) and
Paige (Jennifer Love Hewitt) are two very slick con artists who find rich
patsies and marry them, only to divorce them for big settlements after
enticing them into indiscretions. When they get nabbed by the IRS for not
paying their taxes, they must score one more time to climb out of their
financial mess. The target is chain smoking billionaire William B. Tensy
(Gene Hackman) who is dying before our eyes of lung disease. The only
question is whether Maxine can get him to propose before he keels over.
Meanwhile, Paige is running her own scam on Jack (Jason Lee) who owns a bar
resting on prime real estate worth $3 Million.
It is mostly pratfall humor, with lots of sight gags and general nuttiness, which is often uproariously funny. The whole idea that the diminutive Paige could have been spawned from the Amazonian Maxine is implied comedy at its finest, leading us to conclude that Paige's father could only have been a midget.
Gene Hackman completely steals the show as the wheezy billionaire. Hackman, who is one of our national treasures as a dramatic actor, shows magnificent range, and he turns out to be the best comedian of the bunch. Sigourney Weaver is also in rare form brandishing some bodacious outfits and undergarments. She is especially funny as Olga, trotting out impressive broken English and even doing some vocals accompanied by a Russian balalaika band. Ray Liotta gives a lighthearted and funny performance as a chop shop owner who can't get over his love for Maxine, even though he knows she scammed him. Jason Lee's understated nice guy portrayal serves as the perfect counterpart to Jennifer Love Hewitt's bratty vamp. The perennially cute Hewitt still can't seem to transition into grownup roles. No matter how sexy they make her up (and they do quite a good job with her considerable attributes), her pubescent mannerisms and delivery still make her come off as a teenage harpy. In her defense, this is what the role required, but it doesn't do much to move her out of her character rut.
Overall, there is a lot of good fun here that is often dissipated by puerile absurdity. Still, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, mostly delivered by Weaver and Hackman, that make this a better than average comedy. I rated it 7/10. Fans who like seeing Sigourney and Jennifer in sexy outfits will not be disappointed.
A movie that proves that what you see is not necessarily what you get, as a
mother/daughter team con one well-heeled member of the opposite sex after
another, in `Heartbreakers,' directed by David Mirkin and starring Sigourney
Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Yes, the con is on, as mom takes em to
the altar, daughter seduces em (getting caught in the act by mom, of
course), and mom settles for a divorce and some big bucks. For the women,
it's like having the goose that laid the golden egg, and all is going well;
the bucks are rolling in and Cupid's path is being littered in their wake
with the carnage of the men they've despoiled. Then Page (Hewitt), much to
the chagrin of her mother, Angela (Weaver), decides it's time to strike out
on her own and take down a score for herself. But as fate, luck, chance or
what-have-you would have it, at that moment the IRA steps in and not only
wipes out their bank account, but hands them a bill for back taxes that far
and away exceeds the amount already confiscated. At that point, what's a
girl to do, but find another mark. Only this time, it has to be one rich
beyond their wildest dreams. And with that, the hunt is
An amusing, and at times hilarious comedy, the fact that it works as well as it does can be attributed to two things, by category: Weaver and Hewitt; and Ray Liotta and Jason Lee. For what the movie lacks in originality is made up for with the performances of the aforementioned four. As far as the women, such a pair of femmes fatales you've never seen; Hewitt has it and flaunts it, but she's still overshadowed by the gorgeous Weaver. Looks aside, however, what really makes it cook is their shared if-you-see-me-comin'-better-step-aside, take-no-prisoners attitude, a Mae West meets Kate Hepburn persona that gives their con its zing. Weaver plays it to the hilts, saucy, seductive and sharp as a tack. And not to be outdone by her co-star, Hewitt stays right there with her, by giving a performance that makes you believe that this is a young woman who could actually pull this stuff off. Together, their antics on screen are reminiscent of Lemmon and Curtis in `Some Like It Hot,' or Caine and Martin in `Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.' There's a refreshing lack of pretentiousness about them that really makes them fun to watch.
As for the guys, Liotta gives a sharp performance as Dean, a guy with a hard edge and a soft spot for Angela, and Lee does a notable turn as Jack, a regular guy who finds himself in the eye of Angela and Page's storm. Lee has an especially engaging screen presence, and some of the most memorable moments of the film are in the scenes he shares with Hewitt.
Last, but far from least, Gene Hackman scores some guffaws as billionaire tobacco magnate William Tensy. He gets a bit tongue-in-cheek with his character, who with his tobacco stained teeth and smoker's cough is at the same time hilarious and repulsive. When Angela demurs his attempted kiss, you'd swear you can smell his breath and the reek of smoke from his clothes. And you have to give Hackman credit for this one, because to play this role all vanity had to be stuffed in the closet for the duration.
The supporting cast includes Anne Bancroft (Barbara), Jeffrey Jones (Mr. Appel), Nora Dunn (Miss Madress), Julio Oscar Mechoso (Leo), Carrie Fisher (Mrs. Surpin), Ricky Jay (Dawson's Auctioneer) and Elya Baskin (Vladimir). Director Mirkin must be given credit for his imaginative approach to some fairly unoriginal material, and for making up for it's lack of substance by extracting some top performances from his actors. The real strength of `Heartbreakers,' however, is the fact that it never takes itself too seriously. If you look deep enough, you may find some insight into human nature, but for the most part this is a movie that was made with nothing but fun in mind. It's entertaining, there's some laughs and some nice moments, and it's easy on the eyes. If you let it, it's a movie that will let you off the hook for awhile and show you a good time. And for my money, that's not such a bad deal. I rate this one 7/10.
Stories this luscious and sumptuous, well directed and seamlessly edited, with characters faultlessly portrayed by an outstanding cast, come along rarely, and this is one of the best. It is so good that there are not superlatives enough to do it credit. The basic setup is that the principal characters, a mother, tantalizingly portrayed by Weaver, and her daughter, multifacetedly portrayed by Hewett, are "artistes confidence" to the core of their superficial existences. They cannot so much as have "lunch" without practicing their arts of the scam, but mainly they work the old "betrothal" game. Mom gets her rich mark to the alter, then even before the marriage can be consummated, the daughter, pretending to be unrelated, exploits the man's foolish libido, resulting in a substantial settlement after mom catches them apparently "in flagrante." But then things start going haywire when the daughter decides to strike out on her own, because the guy she fixes on as a mark is not like other guys at all. How he is not, and how her character develops as a result, makes for two hours of outstanding comedy and drama.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mercenary mother-and-daughter Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love-Hewitt
have cruised their way through life by cheating money out of various
men with the tactic of mother marrying rich man, then conveniently
catching him with another woman, the strategically placed daughter.
This way only gets them so far, when, fresh of such a con with Ray
Liotta, their hard earned cash is taken right out of their hands from
their dear friends the IRS, and they decide to target the big guns in
the form of multi-billionaire Gene Hackman.
With a tacky premise such as this, it may seem somewhat of an embarrassment to have some talents (and Jennifer Love-Hewitt) involved. But it pays off surprisingly well. Heartbreakers is not a film that tries to be revolutionary in any way, just good entertainment, and that it is. Weaver is hilarious as the old-age goldigger, and Gene Hackman coughs and curses appropriately through his carcinogenic, repulsive richman. But for quality comedic turns, the best is by Ray Liotta, as the resentful ex who refuses to forgive and forget, who apes his own GoodFellas turn, freaky style, with laugh-out-loud consequences. From the younger actors, Jennifer Love-Hewitt is less capable, her constant bitchy act getting somewhat annoying. Her love interest, played by Chasing Amy's Jason Lee, is more likable, utterly adorable in his naivety and dedication (some would say stupidity) to his wretched girlfriend, who originally only pretends to be interested in him for his money, but ends up falling for him.
I'd like to think that Heartbreakers had set out to be more than a generic comedy, and to be a film with a few lessons to teach about love. However, in its 2 hours, it ends up using the standard template. Girls tricks boy, girl falls in love with boy, girl regrets mistake, etc. For that, the film seems pretty average. There are severe plot holes and thinly sketched characters too, plus the fact that the women's aspirations can fall from billions to millions in the space of seconds it just doesn't make sense. There are additional problems that blaze out so obviously that they are impossible to ignore. But for the most part, this is a superior romantic comedy, with some excellent moments. A key one is when Weaver, keen to prove that she is, ahem, Russian, does her rendition of The Beatles' "Back in U.S.S.R." There are some snappy one-liners, amusing physical comedy (Gene Hackman dying never seemed so funny). The direction is nothing special, but the stars raise their mediocre material and aim for comedy heaven, often reaching it, in a deeply entertaining, sometimes sweet, movie.
Heartbreakers is one of the most underrated comedies in years. The dialogue is chock full of juicy one-liners. The chemistry between Hewitt and Weaver is fantastic, and Liotta is terrific as a near-parody of his previous mobster roles. Hackman is solid as usual although he isn't given as much funny material to work with.
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