"Odd that we don't see more 'lovable degenerate gambler' movies..."
Only in the movies can you come across selfish bastards that you actually like. Of course it helps when your bastard is played by the likes of Richard Dreyfuss - an actor who can (and clearly does, in this case) salvage even the sloppiest material. (OK, Krippendorff’s Tribe was beyond even his capacity, but look what he did with Stakeout!)Let It Ride is lightweight and almost instantly forgettable, but damn if Dreyfuss doesn’t make it a good time while it lasts.
Directed with a workmanlike and somewhat stylish eye by Joe Pytka (Space Jam) and showcasing nearly a dozen goofy supporting characters, Let It Ride surely isn’t a great flick, but it is pretty darn entertaining. The plot centers on one amazingly lucky day in the life of sadsack gambler/cab driver Jay Trotter. Jay has a massive weakness for the ponies, though he’s known as a lifelong loser at the betting windows. For one day, that seems to have changed.
After promising his wife that he’ll give up the racetrack, Jay plunks his last 50 bucks down on a horse. This one win leads to a dizzyingly exciting day in which Jay repeatedly takes his growing pile of cash and ‘lets it ride’ way past the point of common sense. Plotwise, that’s pretty much it.
It may not be a particularly intricate or deep tale, but Dreyfuss keeps things funny - and that’s really all that matters. As support he’s given an eclectic roster of people, some of whom hit solid doubles (Teri Garr, Robbie Coltrane) and some of whom pretty much strike out (Jennifer Tilly (juggs aside), the wholly obnoxious David Johansen).
The flick culminates into a suitably nail-biting pace, though if you can’t see where this one’s headed I worry about you. Let It Ride is a trifle, but odds are you’ve never seen it before, and it’s a funny enough trifle. Give it a shot should it pop up on cable.Worthy of note (two, actually): Ms. Tilly and her big round breasts spend the entire film encased in a tight red dress, so consider that a little added bonus.