Heartbreakers Movie Review
When you go to a movie about con men (or women, in this case), you know one thing: You are either going to be conned, or everything is going to pay off. When you watch a movie where the main characters are basically immoral, the movie hardly ever falls into the gray area; it is either good, or it is really bad. Luckily, with a good and spread out cast, Heartbreakers is anything but a con; in fact, it's one of the funniest movies I have seen this year so far.
The movie stars Jennifer Love Hewitt, Signourey Weaver, Jason Lee, Gene Hackman, and Ray Liotta, Lee playing the only really upstanding citizen of the bunch. Hewitt, from "Party of Five" and I Know What You Did Last Summer, really needed a hit to boost her back into the spotlight, and Heartbreakers has done it for her. The movie is just right for her. I can see her best in this kind of comedy, and the movie does not hold back in flaunting what most guys like about her. Signourey Weaver, of more prestigious Alien fame, continues to show that comedies might be her strongest suit, considering the Ghostbuster films and Galaxy Quest. Surprisingly, though, while the 'girls' star in Heartbreakers, the guys steal the show away.
There is an artificiality about the script, especially when looking at the two female leads. Weaver's character, especially, seems overly light and fake, and while that may be the intention of the screenwriter, it just comes off as artificial to the audience. A lot of the dialogue exchanged between the two women, especially in the first twenty minutes of the film, seems very awkward. That is why the guys steal the show, because they are given some great lines.
Ray Liotta plays the ex-husband to Weaver's character, who got conned out of a lot of money and a Mercedes. He's looking to get his marriage back in shape, but at the least he wants his money back, and he'll do just about anything to do that. He's crazy and spasmodic, just the type of character I like Liotta to play. He's great.
Gene Hackman is a wheezing old millionaire who denies it through and through that tobacco is unhealthy, and Weaver is trying to get him to marry her before he dies. While he doesn't get that many great lines, he plays a very good physical comedy, coughing up his lungs at just the right time, and finally biting the dust on a concrete penis (what am I talking about? See the movie).
And the winner is... Jason Lee. He's stolen the show in Chasing Amy and Mallrats, and he does it again in Heartbreakers, using great sarcasm in just about everything he says. He plays a much nicer guy than he does in those Kevin Smith movies, too, but still has the same character type. If you're good at something, stick with it.
But the women aren't bad. I'd have to say that their comedy lies more around gags than dialogue, and Jennifer Love Hewitt is especially good at looking exasperated when she wants to, either when her on-screen mother trips her to get a free hotel room, or she finds out that her mother drugged her fiancé.
Heartbreakers is a really funny movie. It has some great comedy and a lot of sexiness, and also a pretty good plot that never takes itself too seriously, even in the romance department. It is flawed by a weak script at times, but the direction and editing job, as well as some great performances by some of the cast, makes it well worth it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.