The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Connecticut.
Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his drinking, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.
The unluckiest man in Vegas - a guy whose bad luck is contagious - is used by the last of the old time mob run casinos to kill high rollers' action. That is, until he falls in love with a cocktail waitress and gets "lady luck," which throws the situation into reverse. Things turn nasty when the casino director tries to break up the romance. Written by
The casinos demolished in the closing credits are: the Aladdin, the Sands, the Landmark, and the Dunes. The Dunes was bought and demolished in a giant pyrotechnic display begun by Steve Wynn when he fired a mock cannon from Treasure Island; in part he did it to insult The Dunes' former owners; the property became the Bellagio; Wynn has since sold all of his Mirage Resorts properties to MGM Grand and bought the Desert Inn, which he demolished to build Wynn Las Vegas. The Sands was where the Rat Pack held The Summit, a series of shows they did for fun while filming the original Ocean's Eleven (1960), an epoch that helped to define the Las Vegas that Shelly Kaplow mourns in The Cooler; The Venetian now stands on the Sands' lot. The Aladdin was rebuilt, but has performed poorly due to its similarity to all the other megacasinos, overbuilding in Vegas, and the slower economy. The Landmark's demolition can be seen in Mars Attacks! (1996); the property was used to expand parking for the Las Vegas Convention Center. See more »
Natalie's hair changes several times between shots when telling Bernie about her 'Little Joe.' See more »
Where's Bernie, they're killing us. Yeah, we need him right away.
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(You May Not Be an Angel, but) I'll String Along with You
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Performed by Diana Krall
Courtesy of the Verve Record Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
The Cooler is worth seeing just for Alec Baldwin's performance alone. An old style casino boss, his inability and unwillingness to accept the new Vegas sends his volatile nature over the edge. Baldwin has always been an underrated actor- at the start of his career, the big studios made the mistake of trying to market him as a star, rather than as the quality actor that he is. He is also helped by working alongside another great actor, William H Macy, who can do more with a look than most can do with 6 OR 7 pages of dialogue ( See the scene when he realizes Maria Bello is still in his flat ). See this film for the acting. It's good to see that films like The Cooler and 21 Grams are doing well and being recognised - it is a triumph for acting and strong scripts as opposed to continual FX and CGI in modern cinema.
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