Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked Movies: It Could Happen to You


Most of you probably saw this years ago, so it's overlooked only in the sense that we didn't watch it until now. Because of that, I won't spend much time on the plot: good-hearted cop who lives in Queens (Nicolas Cage) promises a hard-luck waitress (Bridget Fonda) half of his potential winnings from a lottery ticket because he doesn't have the money to give her a tip. Complications ensue, mostly because of the cop's greedy wife (Rosie Perez). Human decency wins out in the end.

I kept thinking this ought to be a remake of a Frank Capra movie starring Jimmy Stewart, because that's sure the way it plays. It's aggressively old-fashioned, right down to the music (David Rose's "Holiday for Strings" plays over one scene, making me flash back to all those evenings spent watching THE RED SKELTON SHOW with my parents when I was a kid). Nicolas Cage, in an understated performance for him, even seems now and then to be delivering his lines like Stewart would have. The rest of the cast, which includes a young Stanley Tucci, a not-young Red Buttons, and an oddly cast but effective Isaac Hayes, is good, too.

IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU (see, that's even a Capra-esque title) is very predictable, but it's also very good-hearted, and more and more that seems to be what I'm in the mood for these days. If you haven't seen it and feel the same way, check it out.

4 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I liked it too and I wonder why Brigit Fonda did not have the career she seemed destined for.

Bill Crider said...

I like movies like this, too. A good performance by Cage, and I agree that he's occasionally channeling Stewart.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

You didn't mention - perhaps you didn't know - that this really was "based on a true story" as the movies so often claim. Not the shrewish wife part, as she didn't exist, but the cop and the waitress and the lottery ticket (without the romance, sadly) did really happen. This was definitely one of Nic's most understated performances.

Jeff M.

Dan said...

Probably why it's forgotten today: just not weird enough for Nick cage's fans.