Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lucky (2011)

Directed by Gil Cates, Jr. 
Starring Ari Graynor, Colin Hanks
Rated R

"It smells like dead bodies in here, but you'll get used to it pretty quick." 

Ben (Colin Hanks, AKA Tom's good son) is a quiet, nebbishy nobody working in a law firm alongside his childhood friend and lifelong crush,  Lucy (Ari Graynor, Nick and Norah, Whip It), who routinely rebuffs his romantic advances, and who happens to be sleeping with the office stud/asshole. Ben still lives with his mother (Ann-Margret), and he can't even figure out how to use the xerox machine. Ben's having a bad life. That is, until one day when mom calls him at work and tells him to come home right away. He does, assuming there's some medical emergency to attend to, but when he get there, he finds out he's just hit the lottery, for $36 million dollars! Very soon after, Lucy rethinks her feelings toward Ben. What a turnaround! Now Ben's rich, and he's got the girl of his dreams! What could possibly go wrong?

Well, there's a slight problem. As it turns out, Ben is a serial killer. He's got a bunch of dead girls stuffed in a freezer in his mom's basement. In fact, the winning lottery ticket actually belonged to one of his victims.

But hey, that's a situation for another day. Charmed by his suddenly-bulging pockets, Lucy agrees to marry Ben. After a lavish wedding and lots of equally lavish spending sprees, the two head off to Hawaii for their honeymoon. Midway through the trip, after arguing with Lucy about money (he's blowing it too quickly), Ben chances upon a pretty blonde hotel housekeeper and bashes her skull in. You know, to let off some steam. Lucy happens to catch him the act, although he doesn't know she's there. As soon as the coast is clear, Lucy calls the cops and gets him arrested. The end.

No, she doesn't. She rolls the body into a sheet and throws it into a volcano. 36 millions bucks is 36 million bucks, man.

The couple return from their trip and move into their new palatial state. Lucy tries her best to just enjoy being filthy rich and not dwell on the whole cold-blooded murder thing. But one evening, while in the throes of sweet (fully-clothed) lovemaking, Lucy catches a police report about three missing women in their neighborhood, and comes to the startling conclusion that they - and the woman at the hotel - all look a lot like her. Is Ben serial-killing Lucy surrogates every chance he gets? Yep. Probably currently assuming that her homicidal maniac husband is also an idiot, Lucy heads over to mom's house and digs around in the backyard until she finds the dead bodies. Then she digs them up and puts them in her car to find a safer place to stash them.

That's around the time when her mind pretty much snaps. It is also around this time when Columbo-esque detective Harold Wayman (Jeffrey Tambor) starts putting the pieces of this bizarre puzzle together.

Things get weird from there, as they often do in these sorts of circumstances.

So, here's the thing: Gaynor and Hanks are so effortlessly likeable that you never buy into this  murder business for minute. You're really just thinking how awesome it would be to have a sleepover in a treehouse with them. I mean, they could be doing just about anything, and you'd have fun watching them. So ok, killing people, whatever. Good times.

- Ken McIntyre 

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