Sunday, December 2, 2012

Money for Nothing (1993)

John Cusack Film Fest Movie #13 (Dang – I’m usually pretty good about starting and finishing themes and tributes within a particular month, but I got a little sidetracked with other matters in November. With that in mind, I’m going to wrap up the Cusack film fest with Money for Nothing and Gross Point Blank, and then move on to Christmas stuff)

Synopsis: A fool and his dough are soon parted, Example # 4,589,974,003.

Blurb From the DVD Jacket: “John Cusack (The Grifters, Say Anything) stars in the hilarious true story of Joey Coyle, an unemployed longshoreman who happens upon $1 million in cash that falls off an armored truck and decides to keep it with the hopes that his financial troubles will be over. But, as the police search closes in and his reward-seeking friends turn against him one by one, Joey discovers that his troubles have just begun.”

What Did I Learn?: If you find $1.2 million laying on the road, and you know there’s a reward leading to the arrest of the finder, you probably shouldn’t:

·         Purchase rounds of drinks for everyone at the local watering hole;

·         Trust the neighbourhood gangster to launder your cash without slitting your throat; or

·         Hand out $100 bills to bums on the street, or use them to make ordinary purchases.

You Might Like This Movie If: you enjoyed a certain Dire Straits tune. [warning: this version is awful]

Really?: Money for Nothing is based on a true story, so it might not be entirely fair for me to poke holes. That said, the real Joey Coyle found the money in 1981, so is this supposed to be a period film? I’m also amazed that he didn’t simply get the fuck out of Dodge instead of staying in South Philly and acting like an idiot (see What Did I Learn?)

Rating: Money for Nothing isn’t one of John Cusack’s better films. In this outing he plays a not-so-bright-guy who’s down on his luck until he makes a (not-so) fortuitous discovery. Cusack has some good scenes – especially with James Gandalfini (better known as Tony Soprano) who plays his too-honest brother, but there isn’t much to this movie: it’s all about a dumb guy who makes a lot of dumb mistakes, while the cops close in on him. The viewer is also unsure of Debi Mazar’s character; is she a money-grubbing bitch, or does she genuinely care about Joey? This is never made clear. 5.5/10 stars.

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