Lucky Numbers

Rated 2.0 It’s 1988. Russ Richards (John Travolta) is a popular, egocentric TV weatherman (with his own private booth at Denny’s) who, after a bad investment in a snow-mobile dealership during a particularly dry winter, discovers he’s skating near insolvency; Crystal is a greedy, bloodthirsty Pennsylvania Lotto ball girl who’s tired of doing “favors” for her duplicitous boss, Dick (Ed O’Neill); and Gig (Tim Roth)? Gig’s just your basic transplanted Brit who happens to own a thriving strip-joint. So, the three of them hatch a scheme to rig the State lottery in Nora Ephrom’s new dark comedy. Why doesn’t it work? For me, most of it did. But one thing and one alone almost sinks the laugh-barge: the murder of the bookie. Everyone involved in the heist gives the “hit” his or her full endorsement; nobody ever pays for it. That two of the three involved not only get away but wind up wealthy says something very disturbing about America’s taste in comedy.