Lucky You

Rated 3.0

Lucky You As a character-driven yarn about big-time poker players, Curtis Hanson’s new movie offers little in the way of big emotional and dramatic wallops, and the plotline is meandering and anecdotal at best. And yet Hanson and his diverse cast of actors do generate a steady interest in offbeat character and sub-cultural atmosphere. Hanson and co-writer Eric Roth have put some stock story materials into the mix—a bittersweet love story involving Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) and an aspiring nightclub singer (Drew Barrymore), a sprawlingly tangled father-son relationship (Huck’s dad, played by Robert Duvall, is also a professional gambler), and a curiously scattered coming-of-age tale. The picture also dabbles in parables about risk-taking and moral integrity, and does so with a certain charmingly offhanded conviction. The film is at its best when it’s working up cinematic variations on the poker players’ skill at reading each other’s emotional qualities. Even as it ventures into the territory of cliché, the film avoids blatant pandering to the big box-office mentality.