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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, September 4, 2014 - Edition No 913 
Reckoning

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JUST THE TICKET

SYNOPSIS:
Ticket scalper Gary Starke (Andy Garcia) feels his world is falling apart when his girlfriend Linda (Andie MacDowell) dumps him. She is tired of his broken promises and irresponsibility. He is anxious to win her back, and needs to prove that he's going straight, but when the Pope visits Yankee Stadium, Gary can't resist scalping tickets for one final score. Linda has meanwhile accepted a scholarship to the Cordon Bleu in Paris and is preparing to leave New York. With the help of his one-time mentor Benny (Richard Bradford), Gary sets off in search of his personal redemption, but finds he is the target of a rival scalper.

"Spiked with charm, Just the Ticket is a spirited romantic comedy with plenty of heart and a top cast. It's a small budget film with plenty of personality and a sense of passion. Ten years in the making, this project from writer/director Richard Wenk shows a keen sense of joy from observing characters throughout. In fact the most moving exchange in the film, between Starke (Garcia is charismatic) and Benny (Richard Bradford gives a heartfelt performance) is shot in very tight close up, in the middle of a crowded street with people rushing past. There is a wonderful feeling of intimacy in this moment, while anonymous faces and figures pass by. Andie MacDowell is delightful; the chemistry between the two Andy/ies always intriguing. There are a few holes in the plot, and it would benefit from some sharp editing, but the overall appeal comes from interesting characters and the satisfying performances which glue the elements together. The soundtrack combines Latin, jazz, gospel and some standards like Call Me Irresponsible and Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours. Romantic in the true sense, Just the Ticket is funny, moving, unexpected and full of charm."
Louise Keller

"Formerly known as the far better The Scalper (don't you just hate idiotic title changes?), Just the Ticket is one of those old-fashioned romantic comedies that lives - or dies - through the charming presence of its principals. This film lives well mostly for that reason. The film is not without its problems, mainly its length and some sluggish moments, but by and large, it's a sweet charmer of a film that delves deep into the romantic spirit. It's a film about believing in one's self, and the search for one's identity, both literally and metaphysically. It's a film about religion, spirituality and the meaning of life and love. There's a lot in Richard Wenk's deceptively simple screenplay, who has created a wonderful character Gary Starke: orphan, isolated, trying to rediscover his life and reconnect with a woman who believes in him. It's not pure piffle - there are as many dark moments, but ultimately Gary's story sucks one in without too much difficulty. No wonder Garcia was keen to play this role; he has clearly never had more fun with a part than he does here. He's funny, captivatingly charming and profoundly real. Andie MacDowell also lets herself go for a change and gives one of her most comedic and subtle performances to date. Visually, Just the Ticket is superb, as its filmmakers make solid use out of a variety of New York locales. Using an array of hidden cameras and mikes, the film has an unusually gritty feel to it, which sets it apart from so many films of the genre. With a wonderful soundtrack to enhance its breezy tone, and that magical performance by Garcia, Just the Ticket is a wonderful charmer of a film. As the song says, it's simply irresistible."
Paul Fischer



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

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See Paul Fischer's interview with
ANDY GARCIA

TRAILER

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JUST THE TICKET< (M)
(US)

CAST: Andy Garcia, Andie MacDowell,

DIRECTOR: Richard Wenk

PRODUCER: Gary Lucchesi & Andy Garcia

SCRIPT: Richard Wenk

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ellen Kuras

EDITOR: Christopher Cibelli

MUSIC: Rick Marotta

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Franckie Diago

RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes?

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: New Vision

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 13, 1999 (Perth May 26)

VIDEO RELEASE: Oct 27, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: 21st Century







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