92 user 39 critic

It Could Happen to You (1994)

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


Andrew Bergman


Jane Anderson





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


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


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


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 »

Did You Know?


Yvonne tells Officer Lang in the diner that her luck is so bad that she had a puppy die of"parvo," but she doesn't even know what that is. Parvo is a virus that afflicts puppies, and is marked by severe intestinal and heart problems. It is readily preventable by making sure puppies get all their vaccines, although Yvonne probably lacked the money to pay for them. See more »


When Charlie and Yvonne are at Yankee Stadium with the kids, they take their picture 'catching' a fly ball at the outfield wall. The stadium clock stays at 1:20 the entire time, and after. Taking all of those pictures would take more than one minute. See more »


Charlie Lang: Muriel was the first girl I ever...
[Implying she was the first person he ever had sex with]
Yvonne Biasi: Really?
Charlie Lang: Yeah.
Yvonne Biasi: [sincerely] That's sweet.
Charlie Lang: I guess. So we went down to the marriage license bureau, and I remember there was this other couple there. They were orthodox Jews. It was an arranged marriage. They weren't allowed to see each other. They were surrounded by their families, they couldn't get a glimpse of each other. I couldn't help but think, "they don't even know they're attached to each other, they ...
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 »


Remade as Bade Dilwala (1999) See more »


You Lied to Me
Written by Cathy Dennis, Shep Pettibone, Tony Shimkin, Joseph DeSimone & John Marmora
Performed by Cathy Dennis
Courtesy of Polydor Records
By arrangement with PolyGram Special Markets
See more »

User Reviews

Modern-Day Capra
10 April 2016 | by PredragReviewsSee all my reviews

The actual story behind the highly fictionalized movie script could have made a really good movie. According to the urban legend website "Snopes", the real events involved a not-so-young waitress and a not-so-young police detective who together select the winning numbers to a $6 million jackpot. There was no hint of romance between the two. But that would be too open-ended for the cookie cutter mentalities behind this movie. They must have went into a conference room or a lunch room or a diner and derived this formulaic romance between two unhappily married people.

Their result was this plot bringing together a Prince Charming, a Cinderella, a the Wicked Witch of New York. But they forget to include a nice dramatic flow of events. I just didn't experience any peaks and very little emotional depth. In the end, I wasn't satisfied.

At least Nicholas Cage makes the most of the opportunity to be normal and charming rather than quirky and charming (one of his first such efforts). He gives the movie whatever depth it attains. Pretty Bridge Fonda gives her usual quiet, unexciting performance. They're responsible for most of the positive rating I give this movie.

Rosie Perez, unfortunately, overwhelms the entire proceedings with nasally witchiness. And that's not the memory I want to take away from a movie.

Overall, it is a decent movie, a nice romantic comedy that ends "happily ever after." This is a story to watch to put someone in a good mood.... it's just basically a very good movie... and it's worth watching.

Overall rating: 6 out of 10.

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 July 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cop Gives Waitress $2 Million Tip! See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,112,822, 31 July 1994

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

TriStar Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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