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Lucky Numbers  

Lucky Numbers is a horrible film that is dead before it even starts. The film centers on the character of Russ Richards (Travolta), who is a successful and very popular local weatherman in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Russ is very egotistic, but he likes his job, fans and of course he doesn’t shy away from the spotlight. However, Russ learns that he is broke due to his un-sale-able snowmobile business. He has spent a great deal of money investing in snowmobiles only to not have any sales, due to the fact that there has not been one flake of snow all winter. Scared and delusional, Russ looks for answers from anybody. In steps his friend and strip club owner, Gig (Roth). With the help of a not so bright lotto girl named Crystal (Kudrow), Gig and Russ devise a plan to scam the state lottery and split the winnings. After the scam is a success, the loose ends that the three characters didn’t tie up resurface to cause many problems and negotiations for parts of the winnings.

Lucky Numbers is a film that I felt like either falling asleep in or walking out of. If I had not chosen to write this review, I would have probably been snoozing.
Lucky Numbers
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Screenwriter Adam Resnick supposedly based this story around the real 1980 state lottery scandal that happen in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The whole plot or so-called plot of the film just doesn’t click or start. Also, the characters are ridiculous, stale and stereotypical. An example is the dumb blonde lotto girl, Crystal, that has a foul mouth and likes to have sex. This script is really a disaster full of stupidity and no assurance of anything. A couple of teenagers could write a better script than this one.

What has happened to writer/director Nora Ephron? After delivering the enjoyable You’ve Got Mail two years ago, she has delivered back-to-back duds with Hanging Up and Lucky Numbers. She didn’t write Lucky Numbers but she did direct it. I couldn’t figure out what audience Ephron was reaching for or what genre she wanted the film to fall under. Was she trying to make a comedy of the absurd, expression or a dark comedy? I don’t know. She has too good of a past resume to be delivering a wasteful film like this one. She needs to go back to writing original romantic comedies.

John Travolta delivers a flat-out failure with this film as the weatherman Russ Richards. In which, his performance in this film is almost as bad as his laughable role in last summer’s Battlefield Earth. I don’t know what is wrong with Travolta either? If he keeps delivering bad work like this, he will need Quentin Tarantino to pull him out of the cellar again. Lisa Kudrow plays the same dumb character once again, as the lotto girl Crystal. The only “un-Phoebe” like acting I have seen Lisa Kudrow do was in The Opposite of Sex, which is the type of material she needs to search and find again. I could not believe what a waste Tim Roth was as strip club owner, Gig. Roth is a multi-talented actor that hopefully will not ever be in a film like Lucky Numbers again.

Like I said before, this film is a waste of time and money, do not go see it.

Report Card Grade: F

Joseph C (Beastman) Tucker

Copyright, 2000 Joseph C. Tucker, reprinted with kind permission.

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