The premise of Hearbreakers looks and sounds collossally stupid. The good news is that the movie is not as bad as one would expect. However, in this movie centered on women, the reasons it is not horrible are due to the men in the movie. Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt are not great. They parade around in skimpy clothes showing as much of their breasts as possible without an R rating. . Gene Hackman, Ray Liotta, and Ricky Jay are. The last name is the least recognizable. Jay (State and Main, Magnolia) is both an author and accomplished magician. He has a small role here, but serves as technical consultant on the con games, another one of the elements that redeem an otherwise dull movie.
Weaver (Company Man, Galaxy Quest) and Hewitt (The Suburbans, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer) are Max and Page Connors, a mother-daughter con team. Max gets men to marry her, then Page seduces them. Max files for divorce, and they collect a nice settlement. Their most recent victim is Dean Cumanno (Liotta, Blow, Hannibal), a chop-shop owner. After ripping him off, they head to Florida. There, Max targets William B. Tensy (Hackman, The Mexican, Under Suspicion), an old tobacco billionaire. Page is trying to break free from her mother. She is trying to con Jack (Jason Lee, Dogma, Almost Famous), the owner of a local bar. There is at times an almost cartoonish feel thanks to director David Mirkin (Romy and Michele's High School Reunion). Mirkin works on The Simpsons, which explains a lot. Their con games and antics stretch credulity but seem reasonable. After all, this is by no means a serious movie. It's the fact that Max and Page can find so many people (Dean is Max's 13th wedding) that seems lame and a little too fake.
The story succeeds only when it focuses on the constant double crosses. There is always something else going on in the heads of Max and Page. Everything to them is a con. Getting meals, cars, or hotel suites are only opportunities for them to ply their trade (and to hawk their 'assets'). When screenwriters Robert Dunn, Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur (Munchies) try to inject some emotion into the story, things begin to fall apart. Page wants independence from her mother. She thinks she can go out on her own to con people. Max will not let her. Either she really does not think Page is ready or is not ready to let go. She thinks Page is too young, and may end up falling in love with one of her victims. Page unknowingly does begin falling in love with Jack. It gets to the point where she is not sure she wants to take his money. Since this movie doesn't break any new ground, the mushy maternal love story eventually rears its head and overtakes the looniness.
Only when Dean reappears do things get better. Liotta's character has two things driving him: lust and revenge. He really wants Max, but also wants to get back at her. He has the best lines in the movie, it just takes some time before he reenters the picture. The Tensy character is a disgusting example of a man. A cigarette is always near and smoke continually comes out of his mouth and nostrils. His nose is bright red and his teeth are yellowish-brown, coated with a constant hack. He has one foot in the grave yet continues to smoke, and this is the only reason Max is willing to put up with him. Weaver's fake Russian accent is quickly annoying, but both she and Hewitt do have some amusing moments as physical comedians. Next time though, it may be safer to rely on their roles instead of their boobs.
|Haro Rates It: Okay.|
|2 hours, 3 minutes, Rated PG-13 for sex-related content including dialogue.|
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