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
I think highly of John Travolta as an actor. After being one of the hottest properties in the eighties, he virtually disappeared for five years and then spent another four years with nothing more substantial than three `Look Who's Talking' movies. Then at 40 years of age, he took an enormous gamble with `Pulp Fiction', making a triumphant comeback and never looking back. Unfortunately, 2000 was not a good year for Travolta. After the lackluster `Battlefield Earth', he needed a project that would help him regain his momentum. This film wasn't it.
`Lucky Numbers' is a dark comedy about two hapless employees of a local Harrisburg TV station who try to fix the state lottery. The screenplay is goofy and has a TV sitcom feel to it. The majority of the jokes don't work. Director Nora Ephron (`Sleepless in Seattle', `Michael', `You've Got Mail') is a talented director, but quirky slapstick is not her strong suit. She does much better with schmaltzy romantic projects.
Travolta hasn't played a character this vacuous since Vinnie Barbarino in `Welcome Back, Kotter'. It is a definite step backward for him, since he has proven himself an excellent dramatic actor. His performance isn't terrible, the character is. For Lisa Kudrow, this is the same ditzy character she has been playing for years, only with a liberal dose of profanity. She does a good job, but the character is extremely predictable with little range. Ed O'Neill is droll as the station manager who tries to cut himself in on the caper.
This film has plenty of talent, but a weak script. I rated it 5/10. It is not awful, but it is extremely mediocre and it didn't provide Travolta with an opportunity to redeem his year.
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