JUST MY LUCK
Ashley (Lindsay Lohan) is the luckiest girl in the world; she steps out of her New York apartment amidst a downpour and the sun suddenly comes out ... she never fails to win on instant scratchies ... everything in her life falls the right side up. By contrast, eager young rock band manager Jake (Chris Pine) is the unluckiest guy, mobbed by misfortune and accidents. Their paths cross at a promotional fancy dress ball and during an impromptu dance, they exchange a kiss - which seems to reverse their respective luckiness. Ashley loses her job and meets bad fortune and chaos at every turn while Jake can't believe his sudden good luck, leading to a record deal with entrepreneur Damon Phillips (Faizon Love) for his boy band McFly. When eventually Ashley finds Jake again, she is determined to retrieve her luck back via another kiss, but then she falls in love with him for real, and she starts to have second thoughts about kissing him.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A totally predictable and competently made feelgood fantasy flick for females under 30, Just My Luck relies for traction entirely on its central concept of luck being a physically interchangeable characteristic. It's not an original notion for movies, as evidenced by films like the intense and fascinating Intacto (2003), written and directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, and starring Max von Sydow as the ultimate survivor - through luck that can be transferred and gambled with. The two films share nothing else in common. More's the pity; I'd have liked a little more intensity in Just My Luck.
And a little more subtlety, too; to jackhammer home the concept, the protagonists have to endure each calamity three times in a row, like getting splashed by passing cars twice (back and front), and then tripping over. Equally heavy handed are the demos of good luck, so much so it gets really irritating, even after we have put out of mind all notions of naturalism. There's only so much repetition fantasy we can take, but at least the performances are engaging.
Lindsay Lohan rescues her character with her steadfast likeability, and Chris Pine makes a decent fist of being the ultimate unlucky guy - or, in the words of Don Marquis, 'now and then there is a person born who is so unlucky that he runs into accidents which started to happen to other people'. He also manages the switch, in which his luck seems limitless.
None of this is easy to do without looking foolish, but everyone seems intent on creating a bit of fun, including Ashley's girly flatmates and the rotund Faizon Love as the main man in music.
With the film's undemanding nature, we can spend time like speculating how the English boy band McFly got its name, and why they want a gig at New York's Hard Rock Café - instead of McDonalds, say. So if you want an escape and rest your brain, try your luck. If you really love this film, you won't want to get Intacto on DVD.
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JUST MY LUCK (PG)
CAST: Lindsay Lohan, Chris Pine, Samaire Armstrong, Carlos Ponce, Bree Turner, Faizon Love, Makenzie Vega, Chris Carmack
PRODUCER: Arnon Milchan, Arnold Rifkin, Bruce Willis
DIRECTOR: Donald Petrie
SCRIPT: I. Marlene King, Amy B. Harris
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dean Semler
EDITOR: Debra Neil-Fisher
MUSIC: Teddy Castellucci
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ray Kluga
RUNNING TIME: 102 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Fox
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 15, 2006
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
VIDEO RELEASE: October 11, 2006
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.