Los Angeles Times

Fast-Paised review: 'Lucky You'

Professional poker player Huck (Eric Bana) tries to scrape together the cash for a major tournament while trading barbs with his poker champion father (Robert Duvall) and romancing Billie (Drew Barrymore), a naïve newcomer to Vegas. Set in 2003, the flick is co-written and directed by Curtis Hanson ("In Her Shoes," "8 Mile").

Big question: "Lucky You" wrapped filming several years ago. Now that the poker craze has died down, can the movie still win big?

Catch it: The father-son duels between Duvall and Bana provide the best scenes and the biggest truths in "Lucky You": The poker world may feel like a family, but when the cards are drawn, the only pockets at the table that matter are your own. As gambling know-it-all Huck and no-nothing Billie jump between charming and cutesy, the love story is thankfully content to play wingman to the big game.

Skip it: If you'll be annoyed by an endless array of gambling-related lessons like "maybe giving and receiving are more complicated than winning and losing." It's a metaphor party, and everyone's invited!

Bottom line: Poker fiends will enjoy the inclusion of real-life players like Doyle Brunson and Sammy Farha, and even newbies to the game can appreciate the reminder that you gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em.

Bonus: If you can't resist the allure of gambling but don't have the cash to back it up, at least you walk out of "Lucky You" only $10 down!

Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.


'Lucky You'

Directed by Curtis Hanson; screenplay by Eric Roth, Hanson; photographed by Peter Deming; edited by Craig Kitson, William Kerr; music by Christopher Young; production design by Clay A. Griffith; produced by Denise Di Novi, Hanson, Carol Fenelon. A Warner Bros. release; opens Friday. Running time: 2:15. MPAA rating: PG-13 (for some language and sexual humor).

Huck Cheever - Eric Bana

Billie Offer - Drew Barrymore

L.C. Cheever - Robert Duvall

Ready Eddie - Horatio Sanz

Roy Durucher - Charles Martin Smith

Michelle Carson - Jean Smart

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