The 365 Best Films of the 2000s

Heroes of the Zeroes: Lucky You

Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000-2009.

“Lucky You”
Rated PG-13

There were worse shaggy-sportsman dramedies for Curtis Hanson’s “Lucky You” to emulate than “Tin Cup.”

Like Kevin Costner’s Roy McAvoy, Texas Hold’em poker shark Huck Cheever’s (Eric Bana) impulses clouded his intelligence and skill. As with “Tin Cup’s” multiple-mulligan conclusion, “Lucky You” ended on a surprisingly non-competitive note. And it’s not without a spot of golf — a gangbusters gambler’s triathlon of running five miles, walking 18 holes and shooting par in three hours.

Unlike “Tin Cup,” no one saw 2007’s “Lucky You.” Shelved for two years, it eventually hit 2,500 theaters the same weekend as “Spider-Man 3” and folded with a $2.7-million opening. Still, “Lucky You” had seats at its table for cajoling comic charm and compelling drama about personal obsession and parental mistakes.

Living from chip to chip, Huck is a Sin City swindler to whom people seemingly surrender in exchange for entertaining stories to tell. While raising a stake for the World Series of Poker, Huck falls for a new-to-town chanteuse (Drew Barrymore) and, in several mesmerizing, heated exchanges, butts heads with his estranged poker-champ dad (Robert Duvall, in the rare Zeroes role where he’s not window-dressing).

“Lucky You” concerns itself with wage-makers’ addictive pathological itch, their desperate hustle for cash and poker’s cult of very strange personalities over the cards that compose a winning hand. (Hanson and Eric Roth’s script does clarify that “flop” isn’t just a term to describe the film’s box office.) Its most striking “Tin Cup” kinship: Knowing vindication and victory don’t always arrive together.

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2 Responses to “Heroes of the Zeroes: Lucky You”

  1. […] 3:10 to Yuma (2007) 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days 21 Grams 24-Hour Party People 25th Hour 28 Days Later … The 40-Year-Old Virgin About a Boy About Schmidt Adaptation. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence Almost Famous Amelie American Psycho American Splendor Amores Perros Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Audition Austin Powers in Goldmember Australia Auto Focus Avatar Away From Her Away We Go Bad Santa The Bank Job Batman Begins / The Dark Knight A Beautiful Mind Before Night Falls Before Sunset Best in Show / A Mighty Wind The Best of Youth Big Fish Billy Elliot Black Book Black Hawk Down Black Snake Moan Blade II Bloody Sunday Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan The Bourne Supremacy / The Bourne Ultimatum Bowling for Columbine / Fahrenheit 9/11 / Sicko Boy A Breach Brick Bridget Jones’s Diary Brokeback Mountain Brothers The Brothers Bloom Cache Capote Capturing the Friedmans Casino Royale (2006) Cast Away The Cell Changing Lanes Charlie Wilson’s War Cherish Chicago Chicken Run Children of Men Cinderella Man City of God Closer Cloverfield Collateral The Constant Gardener Constantine Control Control Room Coraline The Cove Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Damned United Dancer in the Dark The Darjeeling Limited Dear Zachary Death at a Funeral (2007) Death Race The Deep End Departures The Descent Dirty Pretty Things District 9 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Donnie Darko Doomsday Down With Love Downfall Drag Me to Hell Drumline Duplicity Eastern Promises An Education Elf Encounters at the End of the World / Grizzly Man Enigma Erin Brockovich Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind The Fall The Fantastic Mr. Fox Fast Food Nation The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat) Fever Pitch (2005) Fido Finding Forrester The Fog of War The Fountain Frequency Friday Night Lights Frost/Nixon Frozen River Gangs of New York Garden State Ghost Town Ghost World The Girlfriend Experience Gladiator Gomorrah Gone, Baby, Gone Good Night, and Good Luck The Good Shepherd Hairspray (2007) Half Nelson The Hangover Happy Feet Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Hedwig and the Angry Inch Hellboy II: The Golden Army High Fidelity A History of Violence The Host Hot Fuzz Hotel Rwanda Hunger (2008) The Hurt Locker Hustle and Flow Idiocracy In America In Bruges In Her Shoes In the Loop In the Valley of Elah An Inconvenient Truth The Incredibles The Informant! Inglourious Basterds Inside Man Intermission Into the Wild Iron Man Jackass: The Movie / Jackass Number Two Joshua Junebug Kill Bill Vol. 1 King Arthur: Director’s Cut / Kingdom of Heaven: Director’s Cut King Kong (2005) The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters Stephen King’s The Mist Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Kiss of the Dragon Kissing Jessica Stein Knocked Up Kung Fu Hustle Kung Fu Panda The Ladykillers (2004) Lars and the Real Girl Layer Cake Letters From Iwo Jima The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Little Miss Sunshine Live Free or Die Hard The Lives of Others The Lord of the Rings (2001-03) Lord of War Lost in Translation Love Actually Lucky You […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nick Rogers. Nick Rogers said: It was a good day when I figured out how to play poker and have a life, too. #bestfilmsofthedecade […]