Two con artists try to swindle a currency collector by selling him a counterfeit copy of an extremely rare currency bill.Two con artists try to swindle a currency collector by selling him a counterfeit copy of an extremely rare currency bill.Two con artists try to swindle a currency collector by selling him a counterfeit copy of an extremely rare currency bill.
I expected to see an "okay" film, but what I got to see was really something special! I don't know if I ever saw John G. Reilly as a lead character before (if you don't know his name, you will recognize him from many movies you have seen), and he was awesome! One of those guys who is so ugly that he is adorable. (How many guys can pull that one off?!) But what makes him adorable is not his looks; rather, his acting and flawless timing. This movie had me cracking up so many times from when Reilly delivered his lines straight-faced, playing Richard Gaddis, the "I-don't-give-a-rat's-ass-about-anybody-but-myself swindler" whose only redeeming virtue was his choice to do all his dirty dealings without any violence involved 99% of the time. I swear it made me embarrassed sometimes how loudly I found myself laughing in public when he delivered some of those priceless lines. I wish I could remember a funny one verbatim, but can't, so won't spoil it my misquoting. One funny line that didn't make me laugh out loud but I still remember as a great line was when asked by Diego Luna's character Rodrigo, "What's your sister like?" he responds with, "What's my sister like? She likes to give me s**t."
What is Gaddis' sister like? Indeed. What a cool lady! So sexy, fascinating and unique. She has a walk that, as a woman myself, I'd give a million dollars to learn to imitate. I have to say she beat Mae West or any other screen star. I had not seen Maggie Gyllenhaal (Valeria Gaddis) in films before (sorry, I missed a lot of films in the past some years) but hear she has been around for a while. Now this is one sensual and mysterious mature woman who plays Gaddis' smart-as-a-whip sister who is very, very tired of her brother's B.S. (She is the Concierge at a very classy high-dollar hotel.)
What can I say about Diego Luna? He had me at hello. Oh, to be young and in love. I can feel that way easily watching this very pretty and very excellent actor. I had not seen him before though he may have been well known to everyone but me. (Like I said, I haven't gotten out much, but I do consume hundreds of movies a year, I swear!) One line I remember where I really loved Diego's delivery was when Gaddis is telling someone they are conning that Rodrigo is Spanish. Rodrigo corrects him, "Mexican." The Moment was all there. What a jewel!
And there are many, many jewels in this film. It is fast-moving, and if you like to think and figure out puzzles you will be a pig in mud; if you are like me, not so quick to figure it all out, it may take several viewings to catch on to every ruse, but that's so much of the fun of this movie -- and this movie is, indeed, FUN...!
The first-time director, Gregory Jacobs, did a very fine job in my opinion. I personally would have enjoyed for the movie to go at a slower pace, but that's only because I'm a bit slow myself. (smile)
The directing and acting were excellent, and I felt the chemistry was perfect for the story. This is a film I will enjoy seeing again and again. Great story, good acting -- and with actors that are so fun to look at. All three of the main characters (Reilly, Luna and Gyllenhaal) have faces one never gets tired of looking at.
I'm giving it 9 stars only because it was too fast-paced to allow me to relax while enjoying this deeply enjoyable film. Highly recommended unless you are someone who just HAS to see gratuitous sex and violence in order to enjoy a film. For that you have to go elsewhere.
- Aug 23, 2004