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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.22%
Worth A Look: 24.44%
Pretty Bad: 21.11%
Total Crap: 6.67%

8 reviews, 42 user ratings

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by Erik Childress

"Cleavage + Comedy + A-List Cast = The First Worthy Film of 2001"
4 stars

If someone had told me at the beginning of 2001, the year of our space odyssey, that the first film I would wholeheartedly recommend would feature Jennifer Love Hewitt and her huge-its, I would have told them they were on the pipe. But, apparently, that imaginary person wasn’t smoking anything tainted, because Heartbreakers is the first worthy comedy in a first quarter dedicated to the inferior ones.

Hewitt stars with Sigourney Weaver as her mother, Max. They’re a pair of female dirty rotten scoundrels who make a living of marrying rich men only to have them fall under the spell of buxom, leggy daughter, Page and then cut a check during divorce proceedings. After a hilarious opening sequence when their scam is revealed to us through their latest mark, chopshop Jersey hood Dean Cumanno (Ray Liotta), Max and Page set off for Palm Beach for one final score to satisfy both a scheming IRS agent (Anne Bancroft) and Page’s flight for independence.

There, they work together and separately on a pair of unsuspecting males; weezing tobacco exec William B. Tensy (Gene Hackman) and kind, hopeless romantic bar owner, Jack Withrowe, played by the invaluable Jason Lee. Max cons her way into Tensy’s life with a Russian accent while Page shows off more skin to Jack than a KFC-sponsored Leatherface convention at Hannibal Lecter’s house. And God bless her for that. But where this film could easily have turned into a second-rate one-joke sexual innuendo of a movie (and it does push its “PG-13” rating to the limit), Heartbreakers is filled with solid laugh after big laugh thanks to a cast and a director who all look like they’re having fun.

I’ve spoken a lot about “complete” actors, ones who can take any kind of role and make it fly whether it be action, drama or comedy. Anyone who denies that Sigourney Weaver fits that category, should have their credentials stripped. From Ghostbusters to The Ice Storm to the Alien series, Weaver (looking great) can do it all and she just about does it here, chewing up every scene she’s in when she’s in con character mode. Speaking of “complete” actors, let’s give it up again for Gene Hackman for creating one of the most vile, politically incorrect smoking advocates this side of The Insider. It’s easy to dismiss Hackman as simply coughing and hacking his way through the film, but he finds the art to it, using just the right mixture of paint and canvass to create one of his funniest characterizations since his gift to audiences as the blind man in Young Frankenstein.

To steal anything from national treasures like Weaver and Hackman is a Washington monumental task, but Ray Liotta manages to do it. He gets every laugh in the first 15 minutes and just when we think his reappearance towards the end of the second act is setting the stage for the film to go on autopilot, he makes it take off, manning the controls once again, bringing some big laughs and nice twists with him. Between this, Hannibal, and the upcoming Blow, this is one of those great years that an actor has to relish. This is Liotta’s year and I’d love to see him snag an Oscar nomination next February.

I’ve been hard on Hewitt in the past (no pun intended) and a lot of it has to do with her choice of roles, including a string of mediocre comedies and downright awful horror flicks that each successfully focused more and more on her chest. Heartbreakers was the right choice at the right time, because even though this film features her cleavage more prominently than Jason Voorhees in a Russ Meyer film, there’s more surrounding her to appreciate. Jason Lee is always a pleasure to see on screen and, while funny, does contain a great piece of the film’s heart. Kevin Nealon and Michael Hitchcock (Best In Show) both get major laughs in only single scenes apiece. Unfortunately I don’t know who cut out what had to be more scenes for Jeffrey Jones as the hotel manager. Hewitt does what she needs to do here and she does it well and hopefully that philosophy will translate into her future script choices.

Bringing this great ensemble together is director David Mirkin, who also gave us the vastly underappreciated Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. That was another enjoyable comedy about two funny women on the road, full of rich characters and good quirky laughs. Mirkin knows exactly how to pace his material and when to let his actors wield it far beyond its reach. I look forward to his next project.

Heartbreakers may not be poised to join the ranks of AFI’s 100 Greatest Comedies list, but good solid character comedies are almost a luxury these days in the era of gross-out humor and pedestrian teen flicks. This one does occasionally shoot for bottom of the barrel sex jokes. There haven’t been this many laughs with a statue’s private parts since Leslie Nielsen committed “sexual assault with a concrete dildo” in The Naked Gun. And it does have some lame jokes that just don’t register, but hey, so did Shakespeare in Love. Heartbreakers may not be Shakespeare, but its very funny and it’s a chance to see A-list actors working together and having an absolute blast. What more can you ask for, especially this year?

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originally posted: 03/23/01 09:16:03
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell funny flick fuck the haters 4 stars
6/03/11 art THIS FLICK is SICK!!!! 1 stars
9/03/09 art IT WILL GIVE YOU HEARTBURN! 1 stars
4/19/08 art IT STINK'S 1 stars
4/13/07 David Pollastrini Hewitt is hot in this! 3 stars
4/18/06 Dk Fuuny up to Hackmans death which leaves 35 min of bordom 3 stars
3/09/06 Dk Sexy but not much else 2 stars
6/19/04 Denise Duspiva skanks 3 stars
7/11/03 Joesco Not as clever as it would like to be - Weaver is good - Hewitt barely eye candy 2 stars
5/20/03 Charles Tatum Dirty Rotten Scoundrelesses deserved an R and a half hour editing trim, Weaver's a hoot 3 stars
4/16/03 Andrew Carden Surprisingly Funny Comedy...Hackman and Weaver Are Great Together, 4 stars
4/05/03 Jack Sommersby Never really breaks into its own, but it's pleasant enough (though overlong). 3 stars
11/27/02 Tony Miller Pratfalls not worth breaking beautiful Hewitt's stride, let alone her finger. Unfunny. 2 stars
8/28/02 Mandy Seever Jennifer Love Hewwitt was made for soo much better; Weaver pretty much in character. 1 stars
7/06/02 Darlene Groetz The movie where Jennifer Love Hewitt became a zombie of the tragic wands. 2 stars
7/05/02 Jenny Tullwartz After seeing this, Jennifer, I know what you did last bummer. 2 stars
6/06/02 qtpie Loved It !! :) 5 stars
6/01/02 stud cool 5 stars
5/27/02 Nicole Meant to be light and ridiculous. Take it at face value and you will enjoy it. 4 stars
2/28/02 Alan Smithee Should have been titled the JLH t*t and @$$ show. Gene Hackman is wasted. 1 stars
12/16/01 toneely I really like all the actors in this movie, but This movie is sooo BAD!!!! 2 stars
8/30/01 Simeon Briggs Fucking great. I just want Jennifer to hold me. and Jason Lee needed more one liners 4 stars
8/29/01 Matthew Bartley Great performances all round...very welcome change from grossout stuff 4 stars
7/17/01 Erin This movie was cute nothing more nothing less 4 stars
7/15/01 Jester219 Chasing Amy's Jason Lee rules like a mofo. and JLH is my mistress, dont tell. 5 stars
7/09/01 Roy Smith JLH is sexy but her and Jason Lee are the weakest links..still really funny though. 5 stars
6/20/01 Jax I liked it. Weaver and Hackman were incredible. I love JLH. Jason Lee at his best. 4 stars
5/22/01 Eric funny as hell 5 stars
5/07/01 Kate Really really awesome!!! 5 stars
5/05/01 The Chosen One Oh boy 5 stars
4/08/01 John Lyons Besides looking great, J.L.Hewitt can really act! Wanted to see more of Hackman. 5 stars
4/02/01 Bot Tropic Ray Liotta is surprisingly memorable, & JLH is beautiful & way way underrated by all of you 5 stars
3/31/01 Natalie Nat saw it. Now she is an expert faller. lol. I thought it kicked. 5 stars
3/29/01 Wolvie Not Bad. Jennifer Love Hewitt is a hottie! Pretty funny in parts and a fairly good story. 4 stars
3/28/01 tnt hackman and weaver are hilarious..hewitt and jason lee's scenes are terrible 3 stars
3/27/01 kidrock This movie was smart and funny and Jennifer,Segourney,Ray and Gene were excellent. 5 stars
3/26/01 Joe suck 1 stars
3/25/01 Sid 6.7 A relatively mediocre broad, provocative cleavage-festival with seldom chuckles or cackles 2 stars
3/25/01 Peejay She was one of the better parts of the film, not her body. Out of the gutter now Greg. 4 stars
3/19/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Jennifer Love Huge-Tits couldn't act her way out of a wet Kleenex. 3 stars
3/19/01 Katie Young I thought that this movie was incredibly cute! It was funny, a chick-flick SEE IT! : ) 4 stars
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  23-Mar-2001 (PG-13)


  05-Jul-2001 (M)

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