Lucky Numbers (2000)

John Travolta, Lisa Kudrow, Tim Roth, Ed O'Neill,
A television weatherman scams a local lottery.
  • 5.0 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Adam Resnick, Writer:
  • Nora Ephron, Director:
  • Sean Daniel, Jonathan D. Krane, Andrew Lazar, Producer:


8/10 / 10

Why wasn't this movie well-received? Simple. It's a "dark" comedy. Andlet's face it, the general public doesn't like dark comedy. They wantto 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 adark, cynical sense of humor and this movie was a delight for me towatch. It's a good idea, and it was well-executed. The talented casthelps make the film work. Lisa Kudrow is never fully convincing as herruthless character, but she's still fun to watch. I do think JohnTravolta gives one of his best performances, since he doesn't play theusual 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 hepulls it off with flying colors. The underrated Bill Pullman has somefunny moments in his supporting role. I was definitely impressed withMichael Moore, who's never had any acting experience before, yet it'snot in any way visible in his very funny performance. Also in thesupporting cast, we have Tim Roth, Ed O'Neill and Michael Rapaport--allgiving first-rate performances. The movie is set in the 1980's, so Iliked some of the cool 80's music in the soundtrack. Yet at the sametime, Nora Ephron didn't try to capture the 80's atmosphere by havingeveryone where dorky 80's fashions and big hair and all that otherstuff. "Lucky Numbers" is just a well-written film with a lot of greatgags, and I would recommend this to anyone who's a fan of darkcomedies.

7/10 / 10

This movie desperately needed better screenplay and better ending toit.Fairblack comedy though becouse of the great cast and the powers of TravoltaandKudrow.Unfairly cut down by many critics.It is worth a watch as long as youdo not expect a classic which I'm sure most knowledgable movie goers willnot.The director shoud have made it more underground and less mainstreamgiven the style chosen to do this film.......

/ 10

Lucky Numbers is not a great film but a good one. I thought JohnTravolta, Lisa Kudrow and Tim Roth and Ed O'Neill gave fineperformances. Lisa Kudrow is the only one of the "Friends" cast whodoesn't make totally sucky movies. With the exception of JenniferAniston in Office Space and maybe David Schwimmer in Apt Pupil.

I really dug the Midwest American setting, the two bumbling cops, howTravolta's character Russ Richards wallows and loves his localcelebrity status and his reserved parking spot at the local Denny's,and the great 80's soundtrack. And this has to be the first flickdirected by Nora Ephron that I enjoyed.

Adam Resnick wrote the screenplay for Lucky Numbers and the more recentDeath To Smoochy. Both these films are good but flawed dark comediesand deserve to be seen and enjoyed. So don't listen to what others maysay and go see these two (flawed) Resnick gems. Ciao!

9/10 / 10

I've just watched it again and I only reconfirmed that this gemdeserves a place at the top of your lists. This is class. A light,entertaining, very well shot film. And what a cast. This is the secondbest cast I've ever seen in any movie after Glengarry Glen Ross! I meanEd O'Neill! Tim Roth! Michael Moore! How can you fail a comedy starringthese guys? And on top of that John Travolta, Bill Pullman and LisaKudrow deliver hilarious performances and prove how great actors theyare. The scenario is witty but this is mainly an actors' movie.Moreover, it's obvious they had great fun making this. If I had tochoose the best part it would be the grimaces of Bill Pullman. Respectto the man for making me fall out of the couch laughing! Unbelievablethat such a fine movie has an overall rating of 5, while complete flopsget a 7 or an 8. Makes me wonder of the standards of voters here. Whatdid you want guys? More gratuitous sex and gore? More tasteless jokes?Well you'd better reconsider your priorities because this IS a goodmovie.

7/10 / 10

Working from a screenplay by Adam Resnick, director Nora Ephron divertsfrom her usual domain of romantic comedy to skirt the perimeter of Scorseseterritory with `Lucky Numbers,' a black comedy of errors starring JohnTravolta and Lisa Kudrow. Travolta is T.V. weatherman Russ Richards,something of a local celebrity in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he alsoowns a snowmobile dealership. Kudrow is Crystal Latroy, who works for thesame station as Richards, as the `Vanna White' of the state lottery show;she's the girl who pulls the ping-pong balls from the tube and calls out thewinning numbers. In their world, everything is pretty much jake until theweather stays too good for too long; no snow means no snowmobile sales forRuss, and pretty quickly he's in it up to here, financially. With his backagainst the wall, the usually honest and upright Richards is coaxed into aplan that will put an end to his woes and worries. All he has to do isconvince Crystal to help him rig the lottery, and they'll walk away withupward of six million dollars. And, as it usually goes with a plan for theperfect crime, it isn't long before Murphy's Law goes into effect, andthings go south in a hurry. And life for Russ Richards, a guy with his owntable at Denny's, just isn't what it used to be. But, like they say, whenthings look dark, it's probably only going to get darker... For Travolta, the character of Richards is somewhat different than any he'sdone before. To pull it off (which he does), he has to play down the charmand stifle his natural charisma, leaving Russ with just enough polish andego to make him `local celebrity' believable. This is a good guy at heart,reasonably intelligent, but not exactly the brightest bulb in the overheads. And Travolta manages to put it all across admirably. He's not someoneyou'll easily relate to, but you've got to like this guy. He's kind of a,well, he's a goof-ball. Kudrow has a character in Crystal that is differentfor her as well; as the lotto girl, on the show she exhibits a somewhatdense persona; but Crystal is anything but. She's the sharp one of thebunch, externally charming when she needs to be, but tough as nails on theinside and ready to play hardball as soon as the opportunity presentsitself. And Kudrow plays it all beautifully. Crystal is not someone you'rereadily going to embrace, but it's hard not to like her. Is it her faultthere's more than a little larceny in her heart just waiting for the rightcircumstances to be unleashed? Ephron seems to enjoy taking these characters, who are just a shade darkerthan what she's used to, through their paces. It's a satirical walk on thewild side for her, and she manages to mine laughs in some of the darkestplaces along the way. But when you have characters with names like `Gig'(Tim Roth) and `Dale the Thug' (Michael Rapaport), you're going to get somechuckles no matter what, especially when one of them is wielding a baseballbat for all the wrong reasons. The supporting cast includes Ed O'Neill (Dick), Michael Moore (Walter),Michael Weston (Larry), and, in a small, but highly effective and hilariousrole, Bill Pullman (Lakewood). This is a funny movie, though notuproariously so; things happen that you will laugh at in spite of yourself,while at other times there are moments that are genuinely side-splittinghilarious (one in particular, near the end, that involves aneighteen-wheeler). This may not be Ephron's crowning achievementcinematically, but nevertheless, `Lucky Numbers' is entertaining and goodfor some laughs. For Ephron, it's definitely the road less traveled; but inthe end, it's a trip worth taking with her. I rate this one 7/10.