Scott Barnes (Travolta) is an alcoholic turned social worker hellbent on saving a young boy named Tommy (Lawrence) from self-destructing when he finds out he has begun selling crack in an ... See full summary »
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
This film was based on a true-life scandal involving the Pennsylvania Lottery Commission in 1980. Employees of a local television station in Pittsburgh actually were convicted and served jail time in the "666" drawing. Some of the balls were weighted down by injecting them with paint, ensuring that only 4s and 6s would remain airborne and captured in the lottery machine. See more »
While Russ and Gig are arguing about Dale the Thug outside Denny's, several cars from the 1990s can be seen in the parking lot. See more »
Look Russ, remember I told you about my cousin's stepdad? The one with the roadside fun park in Colorado.
Well, if you did, my brain immediately purged it.
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Why wasn't this movie well-received? Simple. It's a "dark" comedy. And let's face it, the general public doesn't like dark comedy. They want to see goofy, Jim-Carrey-type comedies that make you laugh out loud, while making you feel all warm and tingly inside. "Lucky Numbers" doesn't, for a second, make you feel warm and tingly. But I have a dark, cynical sense of humor and this movie was a delight for me to watch. It's a good idea, and it was well-executed. The talented cast helps make the film work. Lisa Kudrow is never fully convincing as her ruthless character, but she's still fun to watch. I do think John Travolta gives one of his best performances, since he doesn't play the usual tough guy you see him play in movies like "Saturday Night Fever" and "Get Shorty." Instead, he plays a total wimp of a celebrity, and he pulls it off with flying colors. The underrated Bill Pullman has some funny moments in his supporting role. I was definitely impressed with Michael Moore, who's never had any acting experience before, yet it's not in any way visible in his very funny performance. Also in the supporting cast, we have Tim Roth, Ed O'Neill and Michael Rapaport--all giving first-rate performances. The movie is set in the 1980's, so I liked some of the cool 80's music in the soundtrack. Yet at the same time, Nora Ephron didn't try to capture the 80's atmosphere by having everyone where dorky 80's fashions and big hair and all that other stuff. "Lucky Numbers" is just a well-written film with a lot of great gags, and I would recommend this to anyone who's a fan of dark comedies.
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