Lucky You (2006)

Lucky You (2006)

'You live your life the way you should play cards, and you play cards the way you should live your life'.




Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall


Set in Las Vegas, an aggressive young poker pro (Eric Bana) battles his demons on and off the felt as he finds love and attempts to repair his relationship with his father (Robert Duvall).


You live your life the way you should play cards, and you play cards the way you should live your life.”

The fact that a real-life professional screenwriter wrote those words and put them into an actual script will never stop amazing me. Maybe I enjoy this movie for the wrong reasons, but I certainly enjoy it.   This is a solid romantic comedy which uses poker as a backdrop and is full of terrible cliché dialogue like this.  It’s fun and ridiculous and features a charming cast of actors.  The movie works despite it’s huge poker-related flaws because it never takes itself too seriously.


The poker is really, really bad and the script follows a very formulaic and predictable romantic comedy arc (minus the comedy).  In many ways this movie is caught in between genres, with no real identity.  It has the tone of a romantic comedy, but isn’t funny.  It wants to be a poker movie, but fails miserably at getting even the smallest details of the game right.


Don’t worry about it.

‘Lucky You’ is the undisputed king of horribly inaccurate modern poker movies.  There is even one scene where the main character is ridiculed for going all-in with the nuts! The scene is actually used as a plot device to show how reckless he is.  In the film’s most famous scene in which Robert Duvall replays a hand with Eric Bana in a diner, the hand contains two massive rookie mistakes, despite the fact that Duvall’s character is meant to be a world class pro with 30 years experience.  So, if you’re coming here for a gritty and authentic poker movie, stay away.  But if you are looking for something light and charming with a poker themed backdrop, you’ve come to the right place.


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