Dir: Gil Cates Jr
Starring: Colin Hanks, Ari Graynor, Ann Margaret, Jeffrey Tambor
Lucky is a quirky black comedy, about serial murder and gold digging, elements that can work together however in this case they don’t quite blend. This isn’t a bad film, it also isn’t a great one either, but I appreciate its ambition and the talent behind it. It is actually a nicely written film, with a solid screenplay by Kent Sublette. Its issues really stem from its execution, and some things are played for laughs when they perhaps shouldn’t have been. There is also a strange approach to the characters, and it is hard to put my finger on it but something was a little off.
The film is centred around Ben (Colin Hanks), a shy type who works in an office and has had a life long crush on Lucy (Ari Graynor), who is also his co-worker. Ben’s crush is a little odd, as he gets urges to murder women who remind him of Lucy. This leads him to a kill a woman, a woman who has just purchased a winning lotto ticket that ends up in his possession. After the win, Lucy finally starts to show affection for Ben, which he doesn’t realise is only because of the money. This crazy couple faces some strange hurdles, but none more trying than when Lucy learns of his secret.
This kind of premise isn’t really new, black comedies have dealt with all sorts and some work while others don’t. This sits somewhere in the middle, it isn’t overly insane but it does have its moments. There is a strange conflict in this film with its main characters, they are both kind of sympathetic but also not at all. It is confusing as to whether we should be on a certain side and whether we are meant to like them. This does make it extremely difficult to find either one engaging, especially as the film progresses. Earlier on before things get really crazy, its easier to get invested. Unfortunately towards the end, my interest in the film was slipping, being as uneven as it is does take a toll. There was potential here, but somewhere along the way things didn’t quite come together.
I did like some of the performances, Colin Hanks was rather solid. He down plays the character and doesn’t go into extreme crazy mode, at least not much. The man has made some very choice career moves, stepping away and out of the shadow of his father. Things like this do suit him, he has some nice comedic timing to boot. He’s versatile and that really helped with this role and bringing it to life. Ari Graynor certainly put in a good effort as well, with a role a little more difficult to play. It does end up uneven at times, as there is this presence of uncertainly about what she is meant to be playing. She tried her best, that much is evident, so I certainly applaud her for that. Ann Margaret is great, she was really good all-throughout and one of the better things here. Jeffrey Tambor is criminally underused, when he was on screen he was pure gold.
This is a film that could make a decent viewing on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Fans of black comedy, or quirky films may get something out of this, and it is certainly worth a look for Colin Hank fans. There is a lot of potential for director Gil Cates Jr, and I hope to see him do more work, as he can only go up from here.
The Australian DVD:
The DVD I reviewed was a screener, so I am unable to comment on Picture/Audio quality.
The DVD will contain the following bonus features: Audio Commentary, Behind-the-Scenes Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer
DVD details here.
Thanks to Bill care of Accent Film Entertainment for the copy.