It Could Happen to You (1994) Poster

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Charming and cute feel-good movie
TheLittleSongbird2 August 2010
What a lovely little film. Mind you, I didn't see this until fairly recently, and when I did see it, I was glad I did so. It Could Happen to You was nice, charming and cute. There are a couple of moments that drag in the middle but that is the only thing really I could find to criticise. What It Could Happen to You is is a film that tries to be charming and succeeds.

What I loved about this movie was that it has a lovely, sweet tone to it. This is complete with a nice story and plenty of lovely scenes such as when Charlie and Yvonne miss the boat and spend time together. Then It Could Happen to You has a wonderful soundtrack, striking scenery and efficient direction. And the acting is very good. Both the characters of Charlie and Yvonne are down-to-earth, sympathetic characters, and Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda both do wonderful jobs. Even better is Rosie Perez, admittedly Muriel is a character you love to hate and my impression was you were supposed to hate her, but Perez's performance was deliciously bitchy and delightful.

Overall, a lovely film, very charming. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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The Cast Makes This Quite the Charmer
Michael_Elliott30 January 2018
It Could Happen to You (1994)

*** (out of 4)

Nicolas Cage plays a poor cop who doesn't have enough money to leave a tip for a poor waitress (Bridget Fonda) but he promises to split his lottery winnings if he should happen to win. Sure enough he does win and he keeps his word to the waitress but before long his wife (Rosie Perez) leaves him and wants all the money.

IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU was based on an actual case and when the movie was first released it got a lot of press because of this. The film was a moderate box office success and it helped build that ladder, which would make Cage a star over the next couple of years. There's no question that the film is rather light entertainment but at the same time there's no denying that all three leads are wonderfully good in their roles.

The point of this movie was to be romantic and there's no question that happens very easily. I think the Perez character is such a dirty and mean person that it really makes the Cage and Fonda characters seem all the more charming and that credit has to go to the stars. Cage and Fonda have some wonderful chemistry together and there's no doubt that they really do light up the screen. When they smile at each other you really do feel as if there's a spark there. As for Perez, she's simply perfect in that way that only she can be.

IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU is certainly very predictable and there's no doubt that it's not a hard-hitting drama that takes a look at greed. The film wasn't meant to be that as it simple wanted to tell a cute story and it does that very well.
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the sweetest characters
SnoopyStyle19 March 2016
Yvonne Biasi (Bridget Fonda) is an aspiring actress gone bankrupt. Charlie (Nicolas Cage) is a NY city beat cop and his wife Muriel Lang (Rosie Perez) is desperate to get out of their one bedroom apartment in Queens. He's eating lunch at a diner with his partner Bo Williams (Wendell Pierce). With no money for the tip, he promises to split his lottery ticket with her and come back with a tip if it doesn't win. The jackpot is $64 million. Muriel is angry to split the jackpot with 15 other tickets but then Charlie tells her about Yvonne. Charlie pities Yvonne and gives her a choice between double the tip or half of the ticket. However, the money isn't what brings happily ever after.

It's a very sweet premise with nothing too risky. It depends a lot on the actors to make this straight romance work. Bridget is classic and Nick is restrained. They are sweeter than molasses. Rosie is as loud as heck and an annoying villain. It's a simple romantic fable that hits most of the right notes. This could have been made by Frank Capra himself.
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Overly sentimental and 'nice' but it works if that is what you are expecting from it
bob the moo16 May 2004
Charlie Lang is an honest hard working cop who has modest ambitions and enjoys his life in his local neighbourhood in Queens. When he buys coffee at a local diner he feels bad because he hasn't got enough for a tip – and instead offers her half of his winnings if his lottery ticket hits. When it hits, he keeps his word and gives Yvonne half of his money, $2 million dollars. She is blown away even though Charlie's wife, Muriel, explodes when she finds out. Muriel's plan for the money is to keep every cent and use it to make more money, however both Charlie and Yvonne are kinder people who want to use the money to do good.

I remember this film as it came out at roughly the same time as the UK set up it's own national lottery programme and the publicity from both of these things helped the other in some way. However, aside from this connection, the film is pretty unmemorable while still managing to be quite 'nice' for the most part. The plot sees nice people doing nice things and being nice with their money and then falling slowly in love like good nice people do. However the bad person who is greedy doesn't like it and she becomes increasingly bad and threatens to spoil the niceness of the nice people – and thank god for the 'bad' person or this would have been almost unbearably nice! The film tries to give a nice warm feel but it is too clean to do that and it is only the greedy side of the film that prevents it becoming way too nice and almost falling into a coma for lack of pulse. Muriel gives the film a bit more bit, although it would have been much better if the nice characters and the greedy characters had been a little more balanced and less extreme, but I suppose that was not the point of this film.

No the aim was to be a 'nice' film with so much syrup that it would kill a million ants and in that regard it works. It is fun and it is overly sweet but if you are in the mood for something insubstantial but cheerful then this is OK if instantly forgettable. Cage is bland but he comes across as a nice guy without being so nice that it is unbelievable. Fonda is about as sweet as white bread comes and is a 'nice' character. The downside for some audiences is that both of these characters will be hated by some viewers on the basis that they are both sickeningly sweet! Perez is annoying but that is the point of her character; she does good work and lets herself look bad to the benefit of the film as she manages to make it more interesting. Hayes is a nice addition as the narrator and the cast also features some well-known faces including Red Buttons, Stanley Tucci, Cassel, Jenkins and Freeman.

Overall this is a sickly sweet film that is horribly sentimental but is OK if that's what you are coming to it for. It is hard not to feel 'nice' at some point of the film and only the most cynical of viewers wouldn't hope that this was real life and there were really people like this. The presence of the exaggerated Perez really helps – even if you don't like her you will still have to admit that her greedy character does well to take some of the syrup out of the film and make it a little more enjoyable.
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It Could Happen to You
jboothmillard14 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't realise that this Frank Capra like titled film from director Andrew Bergman (Honeymoon in Vegas, Striptease) was based on a true story, so I was certainly going to try it. Basically New York police officer Charlie Lang (Nicolas Cage) has a heart of gold, and when unable to give coffee shop waitress Yvonne Biasi (Bridget Fonda), he promises to give either the tip or half his lottery winnings, if he wins, to her the next day. Unbelievably, Charlie and his wife Muriel (Rosie Perez) do win the lottery jackpot, sharing $4,000,000 with seven other winners, and of course Charlie still wants to stick to the promise he made to Yvonne. Muriel of course is mad that he made this promise in the first place, and is sticking to it, and Yvonne is shocked to be given $2,000,000. Over time, Muriel is demanding a divorce from Charlie, wanting the full cash settlement, plus what he gave to Yvonne. It is when Charlie and Yvonne have fallen for each other, after the split, that they are both determined to win their case. They don't win the case to keep the $2,000,000, but in the end they get lots of the money back from generous senders who know they deserve to do something good with it. Also starring Wendell Pierce as Bo Williams, Isaac Hayes as Angel Dupree, Víctor Rojas as Jesu, Seymour Cassel as Jack Gross, Stanley Tucci as Eddie Biasi, J.E. Freeman as Sal Bontempo, Red Buttons as Walter Zakuto, Richard Jenkins as C. Vernon Hale and Robert Dorfman as Walter. Considering it is based on truth, this is a nice charming film with the romantic comedy theme, with Cage, Fonda and Perez all making top form performances. Worth watching!
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Feels Good. Yum Yum.
rmax30482321 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
It resembles one of those movies out of Hollywood in the 1930s, with people like Jean Arthur and Jimmy Stewart. It's a light-hearted comedy that warms the cockles of your heart, if your heart has any cockles at all.

Nicholas Cage is a police officer who lives in Woodside, Queens, with his wife Rosie Perez. She'd love to get out of Queens but Cage has grown up there and rather likes the working class ambiance. He likes his job too. She's restless. They don't have too much to say to one another anymore, although that doesn't stop Rosie Perez from talking.

One afternoon, Cage and his partner (an affable African-American) stop in a luncheonette for coffee. Bridget Fonda, who has just run out of money and declared bankruptcy that morning, is their waitress. Her caddish husband, Stanley Tucci, maxed out their credit cards and took off on her. She's a nice girl. Well, I mean, she treats guys with AIDS with special consideration, obeys her mean boss's orders to the best of her ability, is efficient, and he co-workers like her.

When Cage tries to pay the bill, he realizes he doesn't have enough change to leave her a tip. Cage gives Fonda a choice: Double the tip tomorrow, or no tip at all but half his winnings in case he wins the New York State lottery. She's been so battered by life that she chooses "door number two," figuring nothing will come of either choice.

Of course something does come of it. Life is a bed of pain but sometimes the maid leaves a bonbon on the pillow case. Cage wins four million bucks. And he's such a good guy that he honors his promise to Fonda to give her half of it -- much to the chagrin of his wife who, at this point, has begun to sound like a yapping little chihuahua.

Perez gets into re-doing their apartment in a manner so ugly that even I -- who live in what looks like the reincarnation of an Egyptian whorehouse from 1910 -- noticed its ugliness. She buys expensive furs and has her boobs done, and she takes up with an older guy who knows how to make her money work for her.

I leave it to the discerning viewer to guess what happens between nice Bridget Fonda and nice Nicholas Cage. I also leave it to the viewer to guess whether the two of them find that money is far from the most important thing in life.

Nicholas Cage usually brings something interesting to his roles, and here he's at least believable in a part that -- let's face facts -- is essentially a challenge to our phenomenological reduction. A New York cop who loves Queens and won't quit his job no matter what. Bridget Fonda is an exceptionally attractive woman with rather broad, bony shoulders, a nice figure, and legs that slither when she walks, but this isn't her kind of part. She's not a New York waitress. She's a California surfer girl who doesn't know what we achieved independence from on July 4th. She thinks Independence Day is just an excuse for fireworks and parades.

Stanley Tucci, as the manipulative husband, isn't around much but I can't think of a performance of his that I haven't admired. The rest of the supporting cast is pretty good.

But now I've had time to rethink things. In that hypothetical 1930s movie? Delete Jean Arthur. She whines too much. Substitute Rosalind Russell, who is better at being driven to frenzy.
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Title sounds vaguely well it should
moonspinner5528 April 2001
Anemic comedy suffers from a fatal case of the cutes. Cop Nicolas Cage is forced by a promise to split his Lotto winnings with a good-hearted waitress (played by Bridget Fonda, giving us evidence why her career stalled in the late 1990s). Anyone who loves--or even mildly likes--a picture such as this doesn't understand the intricacies of movie romance. This is sub-"Sleepless In Seattle" (if that's possible). There is nothing visually interesting happening, nothing emotionally worthy occurring at any time, and there are no characters worth giving a damn about. Absolutely bankrupt, and one of the worst films of the decade. NO STARS from ****
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They coulda used "Go Fund Me".
TxMike9 January 2021
Disclaimer: I find "Go Fund Me" to be a great annoyance in our lives and I would never encourage anyone to give that way, it greatly enriches the bank accounts of the owners of the site, about 10% is skimmed off. However I thought of it when this movie ends ...

Nicolas Cage is Charlie Lang and is very sympathetic to a waitress, Bridget Fonda as Yvonne. Charlie pledges her half the winnings if his lottery ticket wins.

However his soon-to-be-ex wife, Rosie Perez as Muriel Lang, has other ideas and takes it all to court. She wins.

But when Charlie and Yvonne go back to the closed restaurant just one more time to say 'goodbye' they find a large pile of envelopes. And yet more will arrive over the days and weeks. Seems thousands of people sympathetic to their cause sent in donations, $5 or $10, until they amassed a sum of $600,000 dollars.

Way before its time, this amounted to a "get out there and fund them" before online donations sites were operational. Cute movie.
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bevo-136781 April 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Interesting concept. When he promised to share if he won I just knew he was going to win
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Syrupy Sweet
view_and_review16 August 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Let's get one thing straight: this could not happen to me. Officer Charlie Lang (Nicolas Cage) offered a struggling waitress a belated tip of double what he wasn't able to tip her or half of his lotto winnings should he win the NY state lotto. When he won the lotto he delivered on his promise much to the chagrin of his wife, Muriel (Rosie Perez).

Neither of these things could happen to me: 1.) I couldn't give half of my lotto winnings to a stranger. 2.) A stranger wouldn't give me half of his/her winnings.

This movie was so pathetic. Charlie plays this saintly cop that can probably walk on water. If he were present when Eric Garner was getting choked by other cops he would've stepped in he's of such high moral character. Not only does he give half of his lotto winnings to a complete stranger, he opts to throw a can of soup at an armed robber instead of using his gun. And the other armed robber, he tackled, again, instead of shooting him. Some may call him a saint while others may call him less flattering names that indicate a lack of common sense.

This movie wound up being a romance, which didn't help it. It was clear that Charlie and Muriel were on the rocks before the lottery, and it was clear that he and waitress Yvonne (Bridgette Fonda) were going to fall for each other. The two of them were this "Oh so cute" magnanimous couple that would give you the shirts off their backs. It was syrupy sweet to the point of nauseating.
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It Could Happen to Cage.
anaconda-4065830 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
It Could Happen to You (1994): Dir: Andrew Bergman / Cast: Nicolas Cage, Bridget Fonda, Rosie Perez, Seymour Cassel, Isaac Hayes: Enjoyable romantic comedy about sudden change within a routine lifestyle. It stars Nicolas Cage as a cop who is devoted to serving others. Bridget Fonda plays a waitress struggling to make a living. The plot regards a lottery ticket Cage promises to split with Fonda if he wins. His wife will take him to court for his generosity. Interesting concept subdued by formula and an ill handling of adultery. Directed by Andrew Bergman with the same theme of chance conduct in his The Freshman and Honeymoon in Vegas. Cage and Fonda are likable actors who survive material where they become consumed in romantic clichés where it seems as if their relationship makes it okay for adultery. With the negative survival rate of marriages today it might be refreshing to see one actually portrayed as salvageable within motion pictures. On the flip side Rosie Perez as Cage's materialistic wife is a steal in her vindictive methods that eventually defeat her. Seymour Cassel has a standout role as someone who eventually stoops lower by overtaking the selfish. Isaac Hayes plays a poor man who becomes the ticket to happiness when generosity is demonstrated. It isn't a big role but it serves its purpose well. Theme regards giving, which the lottery cannot buy. Score: 7 / 10
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I loved this movie
safenoe22 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It Could Happen to You is based on real life events, although the ending of the movie is different to the real life event, and the movie mentions what happened to the real people in the end credits.

I especially loved the ending, where an undercover newspaper photographer is helped out by Charlie Lang (Nicolas Cage, this was 20 or so years before his lead role in Left Behind) and Bridget Fonda (Single White Female) who console each other, slow dancing, as they ponder penniless life together. It's good to see there was no racial element in that scene given it's in New York if you know what I mean.

Kay Tong Lim also deserves special recognition of his role in this fine and charming movie.
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Everything clicks for Nick in the Bronx
SimonJack22 October 2014
This movie was a box office hit when it came out in 1994. And for good reason. Everything gels perfectly in "It Could Happen to You." Start with a very good story, create an excellent script, choose the right cast members, and voilà! Of course, it's never that easy or automatic. To start with, for all its expertise in film-making, Hollywood often can't tell how a film will go over with the public. I wonder if the industry isn't so engrossed in its professional business (all aspects, from acting, directing, writing, stories, marketing, etc.), that it can't accurately read the public pulse. Many times, films that were supposed to be big hits have been big flops; while many more times, second string films score big with audiences.

While a film like "It Could Happen to You" may seem to be a safe bet, it doesn't fit solidly in a category that usually scores. It's not quite a "chick flick," and it's not a full fledged romantic comedy. It has some drama with a small amount of action. And, it is packed with morality and morals, however subdued they may seem. So, with all that, I'm betting that the producers smiled and breathed a sigh of relief when this one broke out of the gates and captured large audiences and a hefty box office take.

I won't give away any of the plot here. This is one that people should watch without knowing the key plot points. As I said, the story was excellent. It's about decency, kindness and generosity on one side, and greed, selfishness, and dishonesty on the other side. It's also among Nicolas Cage's best performances. This was before he developed a character person that pauses and looks confused. The rest of the cast excel as well. It's a very fun and fulfilling movie about a nice love story, made all the more so because it's encased in proper behavior. While this story is totally fictional, it might have been inspired by a real incident. In the 1980s, a New York cop and a waitress won $6 million on a lottery ticket that they split – each picking half the numbers.
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A Cute Film with Wonderful Performances...
namashi_119 August 2014
'It Could Happen to You' is the sort of film, that touches the core of your heart. Its a cute film, with wonderful performances.

'It Could Happen to You' Synopsis: A police officer promises to share his lottery ticket with a waitress in lieu of a tip.

'It Could Happen to You', which is inspired by a real-life incident, is a feel-good romantic-comedy, about people who are in need of money & love. Its entirely & unabashedly a human-story, that displays romance & life's usual hiccups with earnestness.

Jane Anderson's Screenplay is well-balanced. It has its share of humor & romance. Andrew Bergman's Direction is excellent. Cinematography, Editing & Art Design are fair.

Performance-Wise: Nicolas Cage is wonderful, as always. Bridget Fonda is beautifully restrained, offering a performance of pure emotion. Rosie Perez is extra-ordinary. She slips into her character effortlessly. Wendell Pierce is first-rate. Stanley Tucci & Richard Jenkins are decent. The Late/Great Isaac Hayes leaves a mark.

On the whole, 'It Could Happen to You' works. Thumbs Up!
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A strong moral upbringing and a heart of gold may just land you in a small slump
StevePulaski20 February 2012
Sometimes, a film comes subtly by and sweeps you off your feet. That's exactly the case with It Could Happen to You, a sweet, serene comedy that avoids emotional manipulation and gooey sentimentality currently plagued by many romantic comedies. This is a wholesome exercise involving great characters, a charming cast, a funny, kind-hearted script, and a delightful ode to human nature.

I'm starting to loosen my grip around Nicolas Cage. Perhaps I have been relying too much on his current films to judge him as a whole. The last three films I've seen by him, this, Leaving Las Vegas, and Vampire's Kiss, were surprisingly well done, and he played a big reason why. Cage plays a New York cop named Charlie Lang, a soft-spoken, everyman with a big heart and a good moral upbringing. His wife is the ditzy, controlling diva from hell, Muriel, played efficiently by Rosie Perez. They live a humble life in the Queens, which Charlie likes, but Muriel despises.

One day, Charlie and his cop partner go into a small diner where they meet Yvonne Biasi (Fonda), a hard-luck waitress who is enduring a hell day after she has been informed her credit card debt is $12,000 thanks to her unruly husband. Unable to grant her a tip, Charlie, whom bought a lottery ticket for his greedy wife earlier, says that if he wins the lottery he'll give half his earnings to her.

It turns out Charlie and Muriel win $4 million dollars. It would've been a greater amount, but a bowling team gets an extra percentage since they chose the same numbers. Conflict emerges when Muriel believes that Yvonne is unworthy of the $2 million, or any amount. Charlie does the right thing, keeping his promise and awarding Yvonne $2 million. Inevitably, we can see what will happen, but the film does a great job of getting us to the expected conclusion.

And sometimes, with a capable cast, a worthy script, and a nice sense of direction, a cliché story can be told like a surprising one. Not to mention, It Could Happen to You goes beyond its rom-com nature to tell a fascinating story about great characters, who are morally strong, yet are brought down in value by materialistic louses who want everything handed to them. Charlie seems like the man who deserves a good life, but instead, is always controlled and one-upped by his wife who expects him to bring home a hefty paycheck and be supportive of everything she brings up (case in point, a breast augmentation). Yvonne is beautiful, yet is leached off of by her lackadaisical husband who, again, expects her to put up with everything he puts down.

These are characters we can truly side with. Some of them may be us and some of the villains may be people we know, and the film does a great job of illustrating that. The film doesn't over-exaggerate certain points just to do so. Although the story occupies a slight inkling of contrivance, the whole concept isn't entirely implausible. I've been told that this was a true story, and it bares a resemblance to those "random acts of kindness" stories you read in the tabloids. The film, itself, cracked my inner-cynic and made me feel warmer than any other romantic comedy in a long time. How many films could you truly say that about? Starring: Nicolas Cage, Bridget Fonda, Rosie Perez, Wendell Pierce, Isaac Hayes, and Stanley Tucci. Directed by: Andrew Bergman.
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Why Good Things Occasionally Happen To Good People
theowinthrop28 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
In 1954 Garson Kanin, George Cukor, and Judy Holliday made a delightful comedy/social satire called IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU, regarding the difference between earned fame and celebrity in mid-century New York City. Four decades later the issues of celebrity and it's pitfalls were returned to in this similarly titled film starring Nicholas Cage, Bridget Fonda, Rosie Perez, and Isaac Hayes. Again a comedy, IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU is not about how fake celebrity is quickly achieved (as Holliday does it by renting a billboard and plastering her name and face on it for all New York to see), but how rival agendas can cross and fight over the rights to that celebrity.

Cage is a good natured cop in New York City in 1994. He is, unfortunately for himself, married to Perez who is apparently a fun loving decent wife (and a hair dresser). Cage has purchased a lottery ticket at Perez's insistent (she's always gambling), and he goes to his favorite diner for dinner. Fonda is a waitress there, and despite salary (and tips) has just filed for bankruptcy. Cage is about to leave the diner after eating, but has no money as a tip - so he leaves half of the lottery ticket as a tip for her (he thinks there is no harm in it). Unfortunately that ticket wins a four million dollar prize, and half of that is two million. Cage and Fonda are both quite happy with this, as Fonda now can avoid being bankrupt, and can settle her debts. Perez at first is happy too, but greed slowly surfaces in her personality. She always was more forceful than Cage was, but now she sees a chance to shine in high society. And soon this begins to mingle with a growing jealousy of just how friendly Cage and Fonda are (or is Perez actually building up grounds to push Cage away from that huge sum of money too). Watching over this is Hayes, as one of moviedom's angels among us. He is narrating the story, and acts as a final kind of deus ex ma-china towards the end to settle the tale.

IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU is a fantasy - unless you do believe in angels like Hayes (and why shouldn't you?). All the performers are good, in particular Perez who probably got her signature role as the selfish, pretentious wife here. While IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU had more social criticism in it (after all, how many people win lotteries), this is a fitting follow up comedy.

Now if only some clever script writer could write a third comedy called IT WOULD HAPPEN TO YOU!
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Cage and Fonda Deliver Nice Performances in This Nice Film.
tfrizzell6 July 2002
Heart-warming little comedy that uses old Hollywood tactics to tell a fairy tale story that works really well on the big screen. New York cop Nicolas Cage does not have a tip for diner waitress Bridget Fonda so promises to split his earnings if he wins the state's lottery. Amazingly he does win. His share is $4 million and true to his word he gives half to Fonda to wife's Rosie Perez's dismay. Perez is the boss in a loveless marriage. Cage and Fonda then start to fall in love with each other and Perez decides to divorce Cage just out of spite and try to get the entire $4 million for herself. A really beautiful romantic film that works due to quiet, but highly effective performances by Cage and Fonda. Perez steals every scene here and the film's good screenplay makes it a nice success. 4 stars out of 5.
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Reminds you that there are good people in this world
cricketbat8 March 2021
I'm not going to lie, it's strange to see Nicholas Cage as a romantic lead. But he's so believable as Charlie Lang, the nicest guy in New York. And Bridget Fonda is so pure-hearted and kind as Yvonne Biasi. This movie makes you not only believe that there are good people in this world, it makes you want to be a better person. It's an endearing story that I enjoy watching every now and then.
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Sweetest romantic comedy possible
inkblot1128 May 2003
It Could Happen to You certainly meets any criteria for a good romantic comedy. It's got a handsome male lead (Nicolas Cage), a sweet damsel in distress (Bridget Fonda) and a villian (Rosie Perez). Add a plot that swivels between wonderful scenes of the interested parties falling in love and the chaos erupting from the bad woman with an attitude and you have a story that captures and holds the interest of the viewer. Isaac Hayes does a wonderful job narrating the story as it unfolds. This is one of my favorite movies of all time and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to curl up in an easy chair and watch an adorable romantic comedy with some touching dramatic scenes.
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Okay But Uninspiring
atlasmb26 January 2021
Nick Cage plays the part of Charlie Lang--a New York cop without an ounce of animosity in his body. Rosie Perez plays his wife, Muriel---a woman who dedicates her life to acquiring the trappings of ostentation, even if it requires her stepping on the necks of others. How Charlie ever saw value in her is the big question of the film. Did he marry her on a drunken weekend?

Charlie meets Yvonne, a waitress whose empathy mirrors his own. He leaves her an unusual tip that captures the imagination of the public.

The film's resolution echoes the ending of "Miracle on 34th Street". But much of the story is predictable. And the hangdog energy (or lack of it) by Cage weighs down the film. The film feels like it wants to inspire, but it seems like little more than a novelty.

Wendell Pierce, in a small part as Charlie's partner, has good energy. And the script gives Isaac Hayes, in an even smaller part, a clever role to play as an apparent witness to the unfolding events of the story.
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Wholeheartedly a truly wonderful spellbound romantic comedy
UniqueParticle17 May 2019
Nicolas Cage & Bridget Fonda are a sweet fit. Not Rosie Perez though she's self obvsorbed and doesn't deserve to be rich at least in this story. The perfect chick flick enjoyable for everyone and the best example of what to do when winning the lottery! Generosity can go a long way! Another film where that's done well is "Pay it forward" very good morals in that too.
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Unrealistic yet feel good
Floated215 July 2019
With a title as such, there isn't much to this film in terms of plot. It feels dragged out and as if it could be a storyline for a soap opera television series rather than a film.

Nicolas Cage's character is overly nice and is meant to come off as charming and generous but he comes off somewhat creepy and more so a stalker. Nic Cage is a great actor given the right role but in this film he seems miscast. Bridget Fonda was far from likeable and was mostly annoying. His wife of Rosie Perez stole her scenes and was the highlight, in essentially the sane role she played in White Men Can't Jump.

It could happen starts off intriguing, does gets better in the middle than has a weak and unsatisfying and predictable ending. But this is the case with most rom-coms.
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digitalbeachbum11 July 2021
Warning: Spoilers
People ask about the realism of the movie, and I think that is extremely important. The NY Lotto is 6 numbers which requires a 1 in 13+ million odds. Yet, 16 people buy the same winning tickets? Why not make it a bowling team from Albany and the cop who win 8 million instead of 64 million and it had to be divided 16 ways? No, sloppy writing.

The court case isn't even remotely realistic. It is all dramatic for the sake of the poor writing.

I also wish Rosie Perez would speak normally. I've seen interviews with her and I find her more appealing speaking normally rather than with that high pitched squeal.

Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda work well together and they bring some realism to the story. They make a cute couple on screen.

The movie is OK, but it isn't amazing. It could have been better.
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so hard to dislike
Special-K887 March 2002
Warm, enchanting, simply wonderful romantic comedy plays out like a fairy tale brought to life. Cage is a gracious, good-natured New York cop who wins the lotto; against the wishes of his demanding, mercurial wife (Perez), he splits it with a hard-luck waitress (Fonda) as repayment for not leaving a tip! Predictable every step of the way, and hard to believe (though it's purportedly based on a true story), but it's so well-performed, so irresistibly charming, so sweet and romantic that you really don't mind. Not only a good showcase for the film's three ideal leads, but also a kindhearted film that gives hope to the notion of human decency. ***
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An 'Andrew Bergman' film which suggests that it could happen to you only if you are a true human being !! Watch this film to know what this "it" is all about !!!!
FilmCriticLalitRao22 April 2015
American film "It could happen to you" has the ability to drain its viewers emotionally. It can be said that while watching this film, audiences are going to forge different love and hate relationships with this film's actors. Those who believe in goodness above everything else would love roles played by actors Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda. Those who place money above all human relationships would love actress Rosie Perez's character. However, most people would agree that due to her cacophonous voice, her character is reduced to that of an obnoxious woman who appears quite reprehensible on most occasions. Time and again, it is said that altruism and goodness have not yet disappeared from the hearts of human beings. This is depicted through the honest yet poignant portrayal of a kind cop who decides to share a lottery ticket with an ordinary waitress. One can sense that there is some kind of ethical code at work when he agrees to keep his promise despite some serious reservations from his wife. For a long time, audiences have associated Nicolas Cage with glamor and show business. This film reveals that he is an important actor too. He would continue to deliver another fine performance in 1999 when he would star in "Bringing out the dead"-a Martin Scorcese film about an ambulance paramedic.
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