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
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
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.