out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
It Could Happen to You
Review by Dragan Antulov
1 star out of 4
Despite all the technological progress or democratic changes,
most of today's world lives in poverty and the only way for the
individual to escape this condition is usually at the expense of his
or her fellow man. At least, this is the individualistic worldview
heavily promoted in post-Cold War era when the unrestricted
laissez faire capitalism became the only viable ideology.
Hollywood, which often indirectly promoted and directly employed
this worldview, every now and then launches Capra-like fairytales
that preach the opposite - unselfishness, charity and giving aid to
those less fortunate. One of such films is IT COULD HAPPEN TO
YOU, 1994 romantic comedy directed by Andrew Bergman.
The plot of the film is set in New York and deals with Charlie Lang
(played by Nicolas Cage), hard-working and honest policeman.
One day he finds himself unable to give usual tip to the young
waitress Yvonne Biasi (played by Bridget Fonda) and instead
promises to tip her with half of the winnings from the lottery ticket
he has just bought. When Charlie's ticket number gets drawn up,
he wins 4 million US$. Nevertheless he feels bound by his promise
and decides to tip waitress with half of his winning. His honourable
gesture would help impoverished Yvonne, but Charlie's loud,
obnoxious and greedy wife Muriel (played by Rosie Perez) doesn't
share her husband's views and wants money for herself instead for
charity. As rift between spouses widens, Charlie and Yvonne soon
discover that they are made for each other.
Screenwriter Jane Anderson seems to like bizarre stories about
ordinary people, at least judging by her work on THE POSITIVELY
TRUE ADVENTURES OF ALLEGED TEXAS CHEERLEADER-
MURDERING MOM, one of the best films based on real life stories.
In the case of IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU the story was pure
fiction and the magic was gone. Instead we got the story that went
overboard in a desperate attempt to flood the viewers with good
feelings. The result is film that looks less like a fairytale and more
like a Hollywood "high concept" product. Rosie Perez has put a lot
of effort in making her obnoxious character memorable, and
Bridget Fonda made her character charming, but that was all in
vain. The plot was predictable, black-and-white characterisation
was annoying, dialogue was weak and, finally, direction by Andrew
Bergman turned this potentially interesting comedy into
something overlong, dull and forgettable. Hollywood can make
films that make this world a better place and inspire real life to do
the same, but this didn't happen to IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU.
Copyright © 2002 Dragan Antulov
Buy movie posters!