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Winter, 1988: Harrisburg PA's celebrity weatherman, Russ Richards, is broke: he's borrowed heavily to open a snowmobile dealership, and it's still unseasonably warm. Gig, his seedy pal, advises him to run an insurance scam; when it goes awry, Russ is out another $10,000 and in trouble with Dale, a bat-wielding thug. Gig convinces Russ to rig the state lottery with the help of Crystal, a gold-digging ditz with a heart of tin. They have to find a beard to buy the ticket, and then they have to cash it. Soon, murder and various double-crosses add to Russ's nightmare. A lazy cop zeroes in. Jail is closer than riches. Will Russ have to choose between his money and his life? Written by
Nora Ephron's Lucky Numbers has it's moments, but in the long run it is a near miss. The plot has a successfull weatherman and snowmotor businessman played by John Travolta in a somewhat redeemable performance (after Battlefield Earth, even though he wasn't bad in that). But, he starts to get in debt, and his snowmotor business is loosing because of a warm winter. So, he and his girl (Lisa Kudrow is wickedly cruel yet sometimes funny) get the idea to rig the lottery, but things go wrong. The film is all over the map, with too many characters and a lot of plot going into something that doesn't need it, and I'm talking about a dark comedy here, so know where I'm coming from. 2 very funny scenes though almost make up the utter lulls in the film: a scene where Travolta has a blank expression on his face while trying to report the weather and hearing about a murder linked to him; and the 2 exceptional scenes with Michael Moore (of Roger & Me fame) as Kudrow's pathetic, asthmatic cousin. Now if only these scenes were put in a slightly better film. C+
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