Winter 1988. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is Russ Richard's oyster, there where he is the popular weatherman for WTPA Channel 6 News. That popularity allows him many perks in the city, especially at his local Denny's. Things start to go off the rails for him as this winter is unseasonably warm and not white, meaning that no one is buying from his snowmobile dealership, and none of his usual sources are willing to advance him any money to tide him over this rough business patch. In turning to Gig, a slightly shady acquaintance who operates a strip club and bar, Russ decides to turn to illegal activities to get the money he needs. After one failed attempt at that criminal life which has its own negative consequences, Russ instead decides on a lottery scam, his partners in crime being Gig, and Crystal Latroy, Russ' colleague at WTPA as the Pennsylvania Lucky Six Lottery girl - the lottery numbers which are drawn live on air during WTPA's supper hour news - and his sometime lover. Crystal is ...Written by
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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