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Movie Reviews

Heartbreakers  

A mother daughter con woman team travel from city to city setting up unsuspecting rich men. The mother marries the men but withholds sex until the wedding night, and then she finds an excuse not to put out. A day after the wedding the daughter comes on to the sex-starved husband. The wife walks in and catches the two in the act, she files for a quick divorce and settles with one large payment. Sigourney Weaver plays the mother. She has raised her daughter to be a con woman just like she is but still thinks the daughter isn't ready to con by herself. Jennifer Love Hewitt plays the young daughter who wants to go on her own despite her mothers' objections. When they go to split up their profits they find out that the IRS has seized their bank accounts and that they still owe them a large sum of money. They decide to stick together for one last score. They head down to Miami Beach to make one big score off of an old tobacco billionaire. While the mother seduces the billionaire the daughter goes looking for her own mark.
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In the wrong hands this could have been a very dumb unfunny film. Fortunately it ended up in the right hands. The director deals with the type of humor just right. Some of the jokes could have fizzled and fallen flat had they been over done but they weren't. That's not to say that the humor is highly sophisticated, it isn't. There are plenty of off color humor for everyone. It's just that they play the jokes for the most part perfectly.

The film is filmed with strong performances. Weaver is great as the Mother. Her comic timing is excellent and her scenes with the tobacco king, especially in the Russian restaurant, are some of the funniest in the film. Jennifer Love Hewitt is fantastic. She has some funny scenes but more often she is used as the "straight man" walking around the movie increasingly revealing outfits (not a bad thing) so that the men can react to her. If she had played it as an ultra slut it would have come off as juvenile, to her credit she does just enough to make you laugh rather then roll your eyes. As funny as the women are the men they dupe are even funnier. Gene Hackman is hilarious as the aging tobacco tycoon. It's Ray Loitta however, that steals almost every scene he is in. He plays a New Jersey chop shop owner who is the first husband/victim in the film. A lot of people would have tried (and failed) to get laughs from this character by making him a caricature of the typical "Jersey Mobster". Liotta plays him as a real blue-collar guy and as a result he gets more laughs that way. The scene of him carrying his wife to their bridal suite had the entire theater laughing out loud. He also has some great one-liners. Jason Lee rounds out the cast as the nice guy bar owner that falls for Hewitt's character. She wants nothing to do to do with him until she finds out that he is a potential moneybags.

When I saw the preview for this movie I had a feeling that they might be showing you the best jokes in the trailer. I was relieved that that isn't the case. There are a lot of angles going on in the story and it has a few twists that were unexpected. It does loose a little bit of focus two-thirds into the movie when the plot switches gears but it gets back on track quickly. One complaint that I have is that the cinematography is awful. There are several scenes where the camera changes angles and it goes from being a clear properly exposed shot to an underexposed one. It was kind of distracting. Outside of that there isn't much not to like about Heartbreakers. It is a great movie to see if you're not in the mood for a fun night out. On a scale of one to ten it gets an Eight

Paul Ferris

Wheel Deal Review

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