I'll assume that you know this is a dark comedy about a serial killer.
If you can swallow that premise, you're halfway there. If not, walk
away while you still can.
Good, you're still here. Maybe you have a slightly sick sense of humor, or maybe you're simply able to differentiate fiction from reality. One way or another, I think you'll be entertained by this film.
Like any good dark comedy, it makes no attempt to moralize, rationalize or justify the characters' criminal actions. Think of the scene in "Pulp Fiction" when they accidentally blow a guy's head off and sit there bickering with bits of brains in their hair. Think of the scene in "The Prophecy" where Christopher Walken, playing the angel of death, snatches a poor dying cancer patient from her blissful demise and forces her to become his servant simply because he can't drive a car. If you cracked a smile at these or any other shockingly morbid bits of dark comedy, then read on.
Though not as hyper violent as "Pulp Fiction" or as action packed as "The Prophecy", this film "Lucky" keeps the same sort of biting, surreal, amoral humor. There haven't been too many romcoms that center around murder and psychosis, and for that I give this bonus points for originality.
It earns extra points for Ari Graynor's EXCELLENT performance as the detestable gold-digger whose wacky descent into madness makes us suddenly start to root for her. Again, this is in keeping with the theme that even detestable characters can become our heroes. Ari's performance is one of the best examples of how to sway the audiences sympathy even though, in real life, such a character wouldn't be worth the trouble of spitting on her.
Similarly, Colin Hanks, with his boyishly innocent face and perpetual deer-in-the-headlights expression, makes you cheer for him even though he butchers people with no remorse. Throw in the lovely Ann-Margaret as the creepy mother, and you have a film with flawless casting. Oh, and how could I forget Jeffrey Tambor? Note to self: never, ever forget Jeffrey Tambor.
My only criticism of this film is that the ending comes upon you quite fast and may seem slightly implausible the way it's hastily explained in the final scene. But maybe that's the point. Like an unexpected punchline to a joke, it's probably designed to whack you senseless. But I would've loved to have seen more of Ari losing her mind, having ghostly hallucinations and transforming from clever manipulator to total flake. That's really what made me love this movie.
I also seem to recall that the music was pretty cool. I had never heard of the band Transcargo before, but I really liked their song "Kissing the Day" (listen to it on Myspace). I also liked "Whatever Gets You By" by The Features. These and other songs are quirky, happy-ish tunes that are brilliantly juxtaposed against the macabre story.
If you like dark comedies that make light of murder, don't hesitate to check this out. So many dark comedies rely on unspoken satire for laughs, but this one dives boldly into comedy territory. I haven't seen too many of those madcap, slapstick style dark comedies. Similar films include the Roberto Benigni film "Il Mostro" about a nerdy schlep (Benigni) who is being investigated for multiple gruesome murders, the Chinese film "A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop" which is a comedy remake of the Coen Brothers' thriller "Blood Simple", and an obscure gem called "Mambo Cafe" about a family that tries to stage a murder at their restaurant to improve business.
Action / Comedy
Action / Comedy
Ben Keller is sort of a bumbler who carries a torch for Lucy, a co-worker he's known since childhood. She's indifferent until he wins $36 million in the Iowa lottery; trouble is, he murdered the young woman who bought the ticket (it's not his first murder), but the mercenary Lucy doesn't discover Ben's secret until their honeymoon. She figures out that he murders women who look like her, so she's probably safe: she'd like to wait for the next lottery check to come in the mail, then run away. Ben knows she knows and wants her to love him anyway. With a police detective sniffing around and Ben's protective mother watching things carefully, can Lucy make a great escape?
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November 01, 2011 at 08:58 AM