Cast: Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall, Debra Messing, Charles Martin Smith, Horatio Sanz, Jean Smart, Saverio Guerra
Director: Curtis Hanson
Producer: Denise Di Novi, Curtis Hanson, Carol Fenelon
Music: Christopher Young
Cinematography: Peter Deming
Lucky You, a movie about poker and romance, is directed by Curtis Hanson, who is himself a poker player. Hanson, the director of Oscar-nominated film, L.A Confidential, has rendered a film that focuses on the father-son relationship with a screenplay by Eric Roth and Curtin Hanson, based on a story by Mr. Roth.
Set in the 2003 World Series of Poker, the movie follows Huck Cheever (Eric Bana), a compulsive professional poker player. He is the estranged son of L.C. Cheever (Robert Duvall), a two-time poker champ who abandoned Huck’s mother, years before. Huck is an expert gambler who earns his living playing poker at casinos. Unfortunately, Huck uses his poker powers in his personal life too, talking to people about things they don’t like. Huck is able to defeat all except his father at poker.
When Billie Offer (Drew Barrymore) moves to Vegas from Bakersfield, California, to join her sister (Debra Messing), Huck falls in love with her. Billie gets a job as a singer at a motel lounge. Huck has been quite successful in his professional life, but fails in his personal life.
Huck has been trying to raise $10,000 to get a seat at the 2003 World Series of Poker. On the other hand, Huck’s father L.C. Cheever, who won the Vegas-based World Series of Poker twice, is back in Vegas, to win the series for the third time. Huck wants to beat his father at the series, in order to take revenge from him. Will Huck succeed in his relationship with Billie? Will he be able to make it to the World Series? And, if he does, who will win the series, Huck or his dad, L.C?
Bana has given a wonderful performance. Barrymore has done her job well, but the chemistry between her and Bana, seems surprisingly bland. Duvall has given an exemplary performance.
The movie has been shot well, with excellent Las Vegas settings. The major drawback of the film is its screenplay. The second major issue with the movie is its slow pace. Though it’s not as great a movie as expected from a great director like Hanson, it can be watched once. Diehard poker fans will enjoy seeing Lucky You.