6.4/10
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It Could Happen to You (1994)

Trailer
2:11 | Trailer
A police officer promises to share his lottery ticket with a waitress in lieu of a tip.

Director:

Andrew Bergman

Writer:

Jane Anderson

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Charlie Lang
Bridget Fonda ... Yvonne Biasi
Rosie Perez ... Muriel Lang
Wendell Pierce ... Bo Williams
Isaac Hayes ... Angel Dupree
Víctor Rojas ... Jesu
Seymour Cassel ... Jack Gross
Stanley Tucci ... Eddie Biasi
J.E. Freeman ... Sal Bontempo
Red Buttons ... Walter Zakuto
Richard Jenkins ... C. Vernon Hale
Robert Dorfman Robert Dorfman ... Walter
Charles Busch ... Timothy
Beatrice Winde Beatrice Winde ... Judge
Ginny Yang Ginny Yang ... Mrs. Sun
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Storyline

Charlie and Muriel Lang have led simple lives for most of their existence. That's until they win $4 million on the lottery. There is a problem, however. Prior to winning the lottery, Charlie had eaten at a café and hadn't been able to tip the waitress. He had promised her, jokingly, that if he won the lottery he'd give her half of it. This is why his wife, Muriel, decides to leave him. She doesn't want the waitress to get a cent of their money. In fact, she wants all $4 million for herself. Written by Michael Feller <reb@magna.com.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A cop. A waitress. A lottery ticket. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and a scene of cop action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based on the true story of Phyllis Penzo and Officer Robert Cunningham. For twenty-four years, Penzo served as a waitress at Sal's Pizzeria in Yonkers, New York. Cunningham, a thirty-year veteran of the police force in nearby Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., was a regular customer at the restaurant, well-liked by the staff there. (His favorite dish was linguine with clams.) One day in March, 1984, Cunningham asked Penzo for help picking his weekly lottery numbers. Penzo suggested three numbers, and Cunningham came up with three more numbers on his own. Cunningham jokingly promised that if he won, he would split the winnings with Penzo as a tip. The next day, to Penzo's surprise, Cunningham and his wife came to the diner with the winning lottery ticket in hand. Cunningham's ticket had won $6 million, which he split with Penzo, giving her $3 million. In real life, however (as stated in a disclaimer at the end of the movie), Cunningham and Penzo were both happily married to other people for many years. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, the character of Angel Dupree (portrayed by 'Isaac Hayes (I)') states that "The story you're about to see... it's pretty much all true." In fact, the only resemblance the fictionalized account bears to the real story is that it involves a cop and waitress splitting the proceeds of a lottery ticket. In reality, the cop, Robert Cunningham, and the waitress, Phyllis Penzo, had been acquainted for fifteen years, as Cunningham was a regular customer in the restaurant where Penzo worked. One night, Cunningham jokingly offered half interest in the proceeds of his lottery ticket to Penzo, and each chose half the numbers; therefore, the waitress was actually responsible for half the winning numbers, making the lottery money legitimately half hers as opposed to the generous gift it is portrayed as in the film. There was also never a romance between the two; both Penzo and Cunningham were and continue to be happily married to other people, and Cunningham had his wife's full support in sharing the lottery proceeds. While some dramatic license is to be expected in a film adaptation of actual events, the story told in the film could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered "pretty much all true." See more »

Quotes

Charlie Lang: Meatball! That's what I want!
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film was inspired by the generosity of detective Robert Cunningham (ret.) and his wife, Gina. Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham have been happily married for 31 years. The waitress and her husband have been happily married for 37 years. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mad About You: The City (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

New York, New York
Written by John Kander & Fred Ebb
See more »

User Reviews

 
Excellent romantic, feel-good film!
2 January 2003 | by LebowskiT1000See all my reviews

I'm not really the type of person that gets all excited about romantic films, but there is just something about this film that makes you feel good all the way through.

Not only is the film very touching and quite romantic, but it also has something to say about honesty and greed in the world. Although, this isn't the first movie in history to touch on these subjects, but I'm pretty sure it has never been done quite like this before.

The cast in this film is just plain excellent. Nicolas Cage is as great as always, no big surprises or let downs in that department. Bridget Fonda is spectacular in her role. She delivers a very heart-felt performance and looks nothing less than fantastic throughout the film. Both characters played by Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda were excellent characters and really seem like people that you enjoy being around. Rosie Perez was very good in her role, I actually HATED her character, not in the sense that she did a poor job, but that her character was an unlikeable person. Wendell Pierce's character (Bo Williams) was great too, also a person you would be proud to call a friend. Isaac Hayes was nice touch in the film. The rest of the cast was very good as well.

I would definitely recommend this film to anyone that likes Nicolas Cage, Bridget Fonda, romantic-comedies or just feel-good movies. I really enjoyed this film quite a bit and I hope that you will too. Thanks for reading,

-Chris


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 July 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cop Gives Waitress $2 Million Tip! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,112,822, 31 July 1994

Gross USA:

$37,939,757

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$37,939,757
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

TriStar Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | SDDS | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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